In 2014, the OPC will mark its 75th anniversary. As part of its diamond jubilee, the OPC will hold a series of events beginning with a holiday party in January that will kickoff the anniversary year at the Club’s birthplace: The Roundtable at the Algonquin Hotel on Tuesday, January 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Food, drinks and merriment will be on hand as well as time to share stories about life as a journalist. Come with a memorable reporting story, an OPC story, a story of courage or good luck.
The Club’s founding was in 1939, the year Lou Gehrig gave his “luckiest man alive” speech as he retired from the New York Yankees, “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” had theatrical releases and NBC Television began its broadcast. That same year, Adolph Hitler and the Nazis embarked on a series of transgressions that led to the start of World War II. And on April 2, nine foreign correspondents gathered at the Algonquin Hotel’s Round Table in New York to form the OPC of America. This intrepid group of men and women launched an organization whose presence and influence have been felt for the past 75 years. During this time, nations and their leaders rose and fell, wars were declared and ended, and technological advances were made throughout the world. Through all of this history, the OPC and its members have been there to bear witness, keeping generation after generation informed.
On August 5, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy, in his first speech since winning the democratic nomination for President, remarked that the OPC “performed valuable functions in the past and to say also that you have great responsibilities to meet in the future.” For three quarters of a century, the OPC continues to meet these responsibilities through its programs, convenings, awards, scholarships and networks. When the Columbus and Magellan of foreign correspondents met on April 2, they created an entity to serve “the interests of international journalists.”
The OPC 75th Anniversary Committee is in the planning stages of many more events to take place in 2014. Among those events will be a special lighting of the Empire State Building in April to coincide with the Awards Dinner and a photo exhibit of OPC award winners later in the year. While this will be a year-long remembrance of the Club’s past, it will also be a celebration of its future. In a rapidly changing world of conflict and inspiring moments, OPC members will continue to capture stories as they unfold, giving them meaning and perspective, while informing the world. Please join us throughout 2014 to celebrate the OPC’s past, present and future.