White House Correspondents' Association Dinner 2006 Speech Historical Context

Stephen Colbert
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The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

Formed by eleven charter members on February 25, 1914, the White House Correspondents' Association exists for "the promotion of those reporters and correspondents assigned to cover the White House." The organization was formed in response to a rumor that President Woodrow Wilson was planning a series of press conferences to which only certain reporters would be invited. The WHCA hosted its first Correspondents' Dinner in 1920; in 1924, Calvin Coolidge became the first president to attend the dinner, thereby establishing a tradition followed by almost every chief executive since.

For many years the annual dinner emphasized entertainment, which was often provided by popular singers and other performers of the Great Depression. The dinner became more subdued during World War II, but by the 1990s entertainers were once again being invited to address the WHCA and its guests. Such performers as Jon Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles...

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This section contains 599 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner 2006 Speech Study Guide
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