Alice A. Dunnigan – Writing her way to the White House

December 9, 2010 in 1960s-1970s

Alice Dunnigan, Kentucky journalist at the White House

Alice Dunnigan (1906 - 1983) from Russellville, KY

Throughout history in order to make change possible, one person has historically sparked that change. Alice A. Dunnigan was a woman from Kentucky who did just that, make change in the journalism industry. Alice A. Dunnigan became the first African American to receive White House credentials and was reporting on the highest levels of government business. Before she was able to accomplish such amazing things in her journalism career, she was forced to live through racial tensions and segregation.

Born in Russellville, Kentucky in 1906, Alice A. Dunnigan attended the local segregated high school. After graduation she went on to get a degree from Kentucky State University, a historically black college. After graduating from Kentucky State University she became a teacher in Todd County Public schools for eighteen years. During her teaching career she was very active in publishing reports in the local newspapers about issue of civil rights and equality for both gender and race. Her reporting scored her a job reporting on the campaign for President Truman. After reporting for his campaign she got a job on the Committee on Equal Opportunity under President Kennedy and President Johnson. She was reporting for the highest level of government as possible and was nationally recognized for her reporting.

Alice A. Dunnigan was a very influential woman in the journalism field. She worked for the Associated Negro Press,  the first African American female to have a Capitol press pass and the first African American elected to the Women’s National Press Club..  She opened the door to all African American men and women in the United States who wanted to be writers on a national or state level. She is a great example of someone who used her abilities to spread her message of equality for all too as many different people as possible.

Dunnigan, Alice Allison, A Black Woman’s Experience: From Schoolhouse to White House (Dorrence, 1974).
“Milestones in Journalism Diversity,” NewsWatch, http://newswatch.sfsu.edu/milestones/decade1940 – dunnigan.html (June 17, 2003).
“Women in Kentucky,” http://www.womeninkentucky.com/site/journalism/dunnigan.html
“Historical Marker” http://www.historicmarkers.com/ky/80990-alice-allison-dunnigan-1906-1963

2 responses to Alice A. Dunnigan – Writing her way to the White House

  1. Alice was an impressive woman! according to one of your sources she had to spend the night at a bus station once because she was not given a hotel room. It is unknown to me how many difficulties probably arouse for many Africans American just trying to do their jobs or go about there business.

  2. A Todd Co. connection! I’m amazed. I lived in Todd Co. all my life until coming to the University of Kentucky, and I never knew of this amazing woman. This goes to show how important our class is. We are bringing to light women, who may never have been.

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