IN 1935 MANY MEMBERS of the United Amateur Press Association became discontented with the way its affairs were managed, charging that its officers in control disregarded the constitution, neglected their duties, and in other ways kept themselves in power. A group of these members, led by George H. Kay, of Little Falls, Minn., organized a club known as “The Crusaders,” with the aim of effecting a reformation.
At the 1936 convention held in Portland, Ore., the election was deemed illegal by many, including the retiring President, who laid plans for calling another election. But Kay believed that this would merely cause another division into two United associations, and he urged that, instead of supporting a rebel United, a new association be formed. This action resulted in the formation of the American Amateur Press Association.
Although a number of former members of the United joined the new association, it recruited its members largely from young people new to amateur journalism. In an election held by mail in December, 1936, Robert H. Price was chosen President, and Karl X. Williams Official Editor. An official organ, called the American Amateur Journalist, was established. Just as its first issue was completed and ready for mailing, the Ohio River floods at Portsmouth, where Editor Williams lived, threatened its destruction. Forced to leave his home by boat through an upstairs window, he stuck a box containing the copies of the paper into the rafters of the attic, from which it was rescued days later.
The new organization grew rapidly, its membership at the close of 1937 numbering 135. Its members are young, enthusiastic and progressive. Elections are held by mail, annual conventions having no power to transact business. Local chapters are organized, meeting monthly.
In 1938 President Price was re-elected, and James Francis was elected Official Editor. Next year George H. Kay became President, Francis being continued in the editorial chair. The convention was held, in New York City. In 1940 Miss Helen A. Vivarttas was elected President, and Wesley Wise became Editor. The convention was held in Milwaukee. The 1941 President is Erich Werner and the Editor Michael Phelan. The convention will be held in Houston, Tex., on July 4.