Las Vegas Press Club 1963

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Over two years ago, someone told me that, 30 years back, there was such a thing as a Las Vegas Press Club. It was a mystery to me why it didn’t flourish in the Vegas Valley, soon closing its doors. I made a personal promise to myself that one day soon, there would be another Press Club here.

I started researching Press Clubs throughout the world and found them to be in most major cities. Journalists from far and wide find them to be a place to gather where news happens. My wife Elizabeth Crane and I scoured the Internet looking for information about these clubs.

Press Club Branding Iron Record 1963

Unbeknownst to me, my wonderful wife came across an EBay item and bought it as a surprise for me. It was an issue of the Las Vegas Press Club Branding Iron Record 1963. When the package arrived, we were both rather surprised at the content of this publication.

The cover of the magazine is filled with caricatures by Ed Kelly. There are many old-time Vegas names here that are sprinkled with humorous cartoon bubbles.

  • Harry Levy

  • Bill Briare

  • Phil Mirabelli

  • Grant Sawyer

  • Ralph Denton

  • Jim Anderson

  • Art Olsen

  • Bob Brown

  • Hank Greenspun

Click here to view the cover of the Las Vegas Press Club Branding Iron Record 1963.

Press Club Magazine Cover 1963

Press Club Magazine Cover 1963

Inside this treasure I now have is what really surprised me. Not that I didn’t know that Vegas was and is known for risqué activities–but the advertising in this magazine was a shocker! There are numerous advertisements with photos and cartoons of topless women.

A title insurance company has a photograph of a showgirl with her skirt up to her waist. The caption? “Let us look up your escrow.” Not something you see these days!

I got such a kick out of browsing through this old edition of the Las Vegas Press Club. There are 15 items listed in the table of contents, and every one of them was a pleasure to read. It was great going back in time when Vegas was not run by the large corporations of today.

1963 Press Club President Harry Parker

In 1963, the president of the Las Vegas Press Club was Harry Parker. His message in the magazine appears in a quote from the “Branding Iron Dinner.” Here is an excerpt from the magazine:

“We are all here tonight to poke fun at ourselves—good natured, impersonal fun that we hope everyone will accept in the spirit in which it is intended.

We hope that those who are singled out for ‘Branding’ will laugh loudest and longest.”

Of course, all this has sparked my interest in the Press Club from 1963. If any of you have more information, please comment here or contact me. The history of Vegas needs to be preserved and enjoyed by all.

I’ll be writing more about the contents of this magazine that is a walk down memory lane. Stay tuned.

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Frank Spady

Frank Spady is the CEO and founder of the Las Vegas International Press Club. He began the journey at a meeting in 2009 with some Vegas businessmen, including John Laub. In 2011 the ideas at this meeting began coming to fruition and now Vegas (once more) has a Press Club that rival some of the top Clubs in the World.