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The Hill’s History-Cast: The history of ‘Nerd Prom’
The White House Correspondents Association's annual fundraising dinner has become a lightening rod for controversy in recent years, as celebrities crowd out actual reporters and journalistic ethics come into question.
But the dinner didn't start that way - instead, in an era when dinners were the only real entertainment in Washington, it was a way to show your sources a good time, and to take in some of the hottest entertainment out there.
In this week's episode, we dive deep into the history of the White House Correspondents Association, formed in the months after President Woodrow Wilson held the very first press conference, and of the dinner that has become so controversial. From Calvin Coolidge boring reporters with a lengthy diatribe to Franklin Roosevelt's wallet being stolen, the dinner played a huge role in building a modern press corps as the office of the president grew in power.
And then there were the balloon animals. Lots and lots of balloon animals.