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President Kennedy Responds to Female Reporter on Discrimination Against Women

Nov. 29, 1961 - A woman reporter’s assault on male exclusiveness at the National Press Club won sympathy from President Kennedy today. Women are barred from all areas of the club except a special dining room. When public figures come to speak, women reporters are not allowed on the floor of the ballroom with their men colleagues. At his news conference, the President was asked why he and his Cabinet do not stay away from affairs where women reporters were barred, as they do from racially segregated meetings. Explaining that he was speaking not as a President but as an honorary member of the club, Mr. Kennedy said he thought that “all working reporters should be permitted in, on a basis of equality,” when an official visitor came to the club. John Cosgrove, club president, later called the question a “personal publicity gag” on the part of the woman reporter who had asked it.


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