Lawmakers and Journalists Face Off in Centennial Spelling Bee

Aug 22, 2013, 12:47 ET from National Press Club

$codeDebug.log("output array of get country targets countryT

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One hundred years ago, the National Press Club organized a spelling bee, pitting members of Congress against Beltway reporters. In 1913, President Wilson attended, a member of his Cabinet moderated and an Ohio congressman won.


Next month, the Press Club is reprising the "Best Speller in the United States" competition, to celebrate Washington, D.C., history, promote education and raise money for the club's non-profit Journalism Institute. Merriam-Webster will provide the words and the pronouncer. Washington satirist Mark Russell will make a special appearance.

The National Press Club's Centennial Spelling Bee

Date: September 18, 2013
Start time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25, with discounts for Club members and students

For the politicians, the spellers include:

Rep. Matt Cartwright
Rep. Gerry Connolly
Sen. Chris Coons
Rep. Peter DeFazio
Rep. Ted Deutch
Sen. Jeff Flake
Rep. Chris Gibson
Sen. Tim Kaine
Sen. Christopher Murphy

For the journalists, the spellers include:

Howard Fineman, Huffington Post
Ed Henry, Fox News
Major Garrett, CBS News
Kate Nocera, Buzzfeed
Rebecca Sinderbrand, Politico
Meredith Shiner, Roll Call 
Ashley Southall, New York Times
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post
Toby Zakaria, Reuters

Additional spellers may be added. 

Tickets are on sale today through the National Press Club website ( Proceeds will benefit the National Press Club Journalism Institute, which trains communications professionals in a changing media environment, provides scholarships to the next generation of journalists, recognizes excellence in journalism and globally promotes a free press, the cornerstone of a free society. 

Please contact organizer Katy Steinmetz at or 202-861-4016 with any questions. 

SOURCE National Press Club