A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Milwaukee Press Club named Historic Site in Journalism

By Quill

On March 22, president David Carlson dedicated the Milwaukee Press Club an Historic Site in Journalism.

Founded in 1885, the Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in the Americas. Early in its history, members asked dignitaries who visited to sign their names on the wall with white chalk. The tradition continues today and includes more than 1,300 autographs dating back to the 1890s.

When the club moved from its original site, members cut the signatures out of the wooden wall and took them to the new location. Today, they are framed and a few hundred, which rotate every few months, hang on the wall at the current site. Famous people who signed their names include Louis Armstrong, Babe Ruth and William Howard Taft. Carlson added his John Hancock to the mix.

Another of the club’s posessions is Anubis, the mumified cat who was found several years ago at one of the earlier sites. This sacred cat led to the club’s slogan, “Where the only thing dead is the cat.”

Following the dedication, Carlson discussed the future of journalism and technology.