1856 – New York Young Men’s Republican Union is formed in June of 1856, with its headquarters at The Stuyvesant Institute on 659 Broadway. Abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay is the Club’s first speaker. This organization was the first in the nation to inscribe the name of Lincoln on its banner, and the first to ratify the Chicago nominations in New York. It organized the first company of “Wide-Awakes” in New York State, and published and circulated 3,961,000 pages of campaign documents among which, were The Illustrated Life Of Lincoln, and Mr. Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech.
1860 – Abraham Lincoln is invited to speak and introduce himself to the Club in a state that was home to Senator William H. Seward (1801-1872), considered the front-runner for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination. Appearing before an audience of 1,500 at Cooper Union, Lincoln argued that the founding fathers had set the country on an anti-slavery course, contrary to the claims of Stephen Douglas and others in the Democratic Party, who, he maintained, conspired with Southern slaveholders to expand slavery into the territories. Lincoln asked his fellow Republicans to hold firm to their anti-slavery principles: “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” Enormously popular with Republicans, the speech was widely circulated in published form. Later this year abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner addresses the club membership in July and in August Congressman and future Union General Robert C. Schenck speaks to the Club.
1861 – The Advisory Board of the club includes notables such as Horace Greeley, William Cullen Bryan, Hamilton Fish, Hiram Barney, Abijah Mann Jr., George Folsom, William Curtis Noyes, and Richard Cunningham McCormick. Executive Committee members included Benjamin F. Maniere who would go on to become a New York State Senator, and Charles C. Nott who would become the Chief Justice for the Court of Claims.
1879 – New York Young Men’s Republican Club is formed.
1880 – Vice President Chester A. Arthur personally thanked the Club for the work they did in fighting against voter intimidation in the Presidential Election of 1880. The Club selects 953 Broadway as its headquarters.
1884 – The Club publishes a series of pamphlets attacking the career and policies of President Grover Cleveland.
1886 – The Club reached 480 members on its rolls.
1911 – Thirty two young men came together under the leadership of Benjamin M. Day, Philip J. McCook, Lloyd C. Griscom, Samuel McCune Lindsay, and Fred Stein, to establish the New York Young Republican Club in April 1911. In December 1911 the club held their first gala. Senator William Edgar Borah was the keynote speaker at the gala for Guest of Honor, President of the United States William Howard Taft. Although the founders anticipated the enfranchisement of women by omitting the word ‘Men’s’ from the Club’s name, membership in the Club, for the time being, was exclusively men.
1912 – The club is formally incorporated in February 1912.
1913 – A year after its incorporation, the Club initiated Republican participation in the campaign which resulted in the election of John Purroy Mitchel as a fusion Mayor of New York City.
1920 – Took part in the election of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge as President and Vice President of the United States.
1921 – The Club became involved with the mayoral campaign of Henry H. Curran in opposition to Mayor John F. Hylan.
1927 – Under the leadership of Club President and future State Senator, Thomas C. Desmond, a tremendous upsurge in the strength and effectiveness of the Club took place, and the membership expanded from less than one hundred to over two thousand
1932 – The club gets its own candidate, Herbert Brownell Jr., elected as New York State Assemblyman, 10th A.D., then a Tammany stronghold.
1933 – Took a leading role in the creation of a Fusion ticket which, with the election of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, ousted a long-entrenched Tammany regime in New York City. The Club spearheaded the creation of the Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs to act as a state-wide umbrella organization for Young Republican Clubs in New York State. Chase Mellen, Jr., a member of the Club’s Board of Governors, was elected to the position of Chairman of the Republican County Committee in New York County.
1937 – The Club was one of the first organizations to call for the re-nomination and re-election of Mayor LaGuardia as the Republican candidate.
1942 – Supported the successful gubernatorial campaign of former Chairman of Club’s Board of Governors, Thomas Dewey.
1944 – Club member Herbert Brownell Jr. is elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
1946 – Actively campaigned for Club member, Jacob K. Javits, and saw him win an upset victory for Congress in Washington Heights. The Club also supported member Frederick P. Bryan in his ultimately unsuccessful challenge against Democratic Congressman Vito Marcantonio.
1948 – Helped elect another Club member, George Frankenthaler, as the Surrogate of New York County, the first and last Republican ever elected to that office. The Club ran one of its members, John Ellis, against Democratic Congressman Vito Marcantonio, like Frederick P. Bryan 2 years earlier, John Ellis‘ campaign failed to secure a win.
1950 – Members of the Club initiated the “Draft Dewey” movement in 1950 and successfully persuaded Governor Thomas Dewey to seek a third term. Participation of the Club members in that campaign contributed to the Governor amassing one of the largest total votes ever received by a Republican in New York City to that date. Also during that year, members of the Club ran the congressional campaign of one of the Club’s former presidents, Henry Varnum Poor.
1952 – Was among the first Republican organizations to go on record in favor of Dwight D. Eisenhower as Republican candidate for President. Helped found The National Youth For Eisenhower. Many capable Club members joined the Eisenhower administration, among them, the late John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State, Herbert Brownell, Jr., as Attorney General, former Board Chairman Harold H. Healy, Jr. as Executive Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, and Winthrop W. Aldrich as Ambassador to the Court of St. James who was later succeeded by another Club member, John Hay Whitney.
1954 – U.S. Senator Irving M. Ives was the Republican candidate to succeed Thomas E. Dewey, but he and his ticket, with the exception of Jacob K. Javits, went down to defeat by a small margin. In the contest for Attorney General, Congressman Javits defeated Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., the Democratic and Liberal party candidate. Club members, Charles M. Metzner and John Trubin ran these campaigns, respectively, and Club members played a major part in both campaigns. That same year, Board member Morton B. Lawrence served as executive director of the New York Eisenhower-Nixon Congressional Campaign Committee, gaining experience he used four years later when he helped found the “Draft Rockefeller for Governor” movement and the “Rockefeller for Governor Clubs,” serving as their executive director.
1956 – The Club once again provided much of the leadership for Youth for Eisenhower and Youth for Javits. President Eisenhower was seeking re-election and Attorney General Jacob K. Javits was the Republican candidate for U.S. Senator. Both were successful and Club member Louis J. Lefkowitz was chosen by the State Legislature to succeed Attorney General Javits. The Club was influential in founding the United Young Republican Club in Harlem in 1956 through its sponsorship of their first Lincoln Day Dinner.
1957 – The Club was instrumental in the election of Stanley M. Isaacs to the New York City Council. In addition, the Club’s initiated “Operation City Budget”, a study and analysis of the City’s Expense Budget which culminated in a well-documented appearance of Club members before the City’s Board of Estimate.
1958 – The Republican Party was determined to win back the governorship in 1958 and many of this Club’s members played an active part on behalf of the various candidates but the nomination at the State Convention went to Nelson A. Rockefeller, brother of Club member David Rockefeller. Playing a very important role in the entire campaign from nomination to election was former Board Chairman and later Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Roswell B. Perkins. After he was inaugurated, Governor Rockefeller appointed a number of Club members to high posts in his administration including Thomas Thatcher, William S. Brennen, and Samuel C. Cantor. At a meeting of the Club in the spring of 1958, after a lengthy debate, the membership endorsed a former Club president, John Vliet Lindsay, the Executive Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, to challenge the incumbent East Side congressman, and Club member, Frederic R. Coudert, Jr., in the Republican Primary Election. Mr. Coudert withdrew and the Republican Party designated former Club president Elliot H. Goodwin to oppose the Lindsay challenge. The victor in the hard-fought Primary and General Election was John V. Lindsay who defeated his Democratic-Liberal opponent by a narrow margin in the general election.
1961 – Helped lead the effort to elect the popular State Attorney General, Louis J. Lefkowitz, as Mayor of New York City. Although he waged a vigorous campaign, he, like the five previous Republican mayoral candidates before him, went down to defeat.
1962 – Played a major part in the nomination and election of former Board Chairman Theodore R. Kupferman as Councilman to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the venerable Stanley M. Isaacs, the first in a series of election victories that would take Ted Kupferman to Congress, to the New York State Supreme Court and finally to the Appellate Division of that court. This year also saw the Club take an active role in the successful campaigns to re-elect Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, Senator Jacob K. Javits, Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz and Representative John V. Lindsay. The Club’s goal now was to elect the next Mayor of New York City, something the Republicans hadn’t been able to accomplish since Fiorello H. LaGuardia’s third-term victory in 1941.
1963 – Ordinarily this would have been an off-political year but Assemblywoman Dorothy Bell Lawrence, long a powerful Republican leader on Manhattan’s East Side, resigned her seat in the Legislature and the Club urged one of its former presidents, John M. Burns, to seek that office. With the support of Club members, he was successful in the Republican primary and in the special election that fall, defeating his Democratic-Liberal opponent by 1200 votes out of about 24,000 cast. Also in 1963, Councilman Kupferman was challenged in the Republican primary by former Club President J. Dudley Devine. A coalition of conservative groups on the East Side of Manhattan, groups which the following year would form the base of the Goldwater movement in New York, had launched what would turn out to be a losing campaign to unseat Ted Kupferman. Members of the Club were active on both sides, with William Whittemore, who recently had lost the Club presidency to E. Virgil Conway, and Stanley Goldstein, a leader of the conservative wing, supporting Dudley Devine, while Charles Moerdler served as the Kupferman campaign manager with the support of a majority of the Club’s members.
1964 – The Presidential campaign divided the Club ideologically, with former Club President John A. Wells directing the campaign of Club member Nelson A. Rockefeller who lost the nomination to Senator Barry Goldwater. Although Mr. Goldwater won the nomination, he lost the general election by a huge margin, bringing down with him Club member MacNeil Mitchell, who had had a 26-year career in the Assembly and the Senate until then. Despite the overwhelming vote for President Lyndon B. Johnson in his congressional district, John Lindsay was re-elected to a fourth term by a plurality of 91,000 votes and Club member Bill Green began his outstanding career by defeating the incumbent Assemblyman and three other candidates in a Republican primary and going on to victory in the general election. Club members worked in the re-election campaign of U.S. Senator Kenneth B. Keating, also a Club member, who was to be elected to the state’s Court of Appeals the following year in a campaign run by Club member John Trubin. Jackie Robinson was the guest of honor for the 1964 Annual Dinner, receiving the the War Memorial Award from the Club.
1965 – The mayoral election of 1965 was to be one of the most memorable in the Club’s history. Congressman John V. Lindsay, a former Club president, was the Republican candidate and he also had the endorsement of the Liberal party. In addition to the Democratic candidate, former City Comptroller Abraham D. Beame, John Lindsay was opposed by writer-commentator William F. Buckley, the candidate of the Conservative Party. Senator Javits was the Lindsay campaign chairman while Club member Robert Price directed the day-to-day activities as campaign manager. Club members, too numerous to list, flocked to the Lindsay headquarters and headed almost every area of activity at headquarters or in the field. The efforts of the Club were rewarded with the election of former Club President, John V. Lindsay, as Mayor of New York City. Many Club officers accepted positions in the Lindsay administration and many of Mayor Lindsay’s Commissioners were Club members. This intricate symbiotic relationship between the Club and the Lindsay administration gave the Club the opportunity to realize its ideal of bringing good government to the City of New York. Bob Price became Deputy Mayor, a position he held for about a year until succeeded by Robert W. Sweet who had been Executive Assistant to the Mayor; Charles Moerdler was named Buildings Commissioner, to be succeeded by William J. Diamond in 1967. Sid Davidoff, who had been an assistant campaign manager, was appointed as an Assistant Buildings Commissioner, as were Jacques Debrot and Seymour M. Unger. Soon after Mr. Davidoff was appointed Assistant to the Mayor, a post he held through the remainder of John Lindsay’s eight years at City Hall. Richard Lewisohn, who had become the leader of the 9th A.D. Republican Club (by then the 66th A.D.) after the Lindsay supporters had taken over the Club in 1959, resigned to accept appointment as the Commissioner of Purchase, to be followed as leader by Franklin R. Weissberg, another Club member and noted theatrical lawyer who had been chosen by Mayor Lindsay to be a consultant to him for the performing arts. Joseph L. Forstadt, a Board Vice Chairman who also had been active in the Lindsay campaign, was named Deputy Commissioner of Licenses and later became Acting Commissioner when the department’s name was changed to that of Consumer Affairs. Many other Club members were appointed to full time, volunteer and advisory positions with the Lindsay Administration. Roy M. Goodman, a businessman who had served as a legislative aide to Assemblyman John Robert Brook, was asked by Mayor Lindsay to take on the position of Finance Commissioner, which he did. Of the 25 members of the Club’s Board of Governors, 23 joined the Lindsay Administration.
1966 – With the election of John V. Lindsay as Mayor, a vacancy was created in his congressional district and Club members Thomas Brownell, George A. Kalkines, and Joseph L. Forstadt led the campaign to elect Councilman Theodore R. Kupferman who won by 900 votes in a Special Election on February 8, 1966. Under the rules of the Council, the other Manhattan members had to elect a Republican to fill the Kupferman vacancy on the City Council and they chose Woodward Kingman who had been Club President from 1955 to 1956. That November, Club member Whitney North Seymour, Jr. won back the Senate seat on Manhattan’s East Side which the Republicans had lost in 1964 while Ted Kupferman, Jack Burns, and Bill Green were re-elected.
1967 – The War Memorial Award, one of the Club’s highest honor, was presented to Oregon’s U.S. Senator, Mark O. Hatfield, by Senator Jacob K. Javits at the Club’s annual dinner in memory of those Club members who died during World War II. Joseph L. Forstadt, vice chairman of the Club’s Board of Governors and later its President, who one day would succeed Joseph L. Bruno, as the Majority Leader of the State Senate, is elected Chairman of the Association of New York Young Republican Clubs.
1968 – A number of Club members vied for many of the same elected offices on the East Side of Manhattan. Congressman Theodore R. Kupferman announced that he would not seek re-election – he received a bipartisan nomination for the State Supreme Court the following year – and the nomination was sought by Assemblyman Bill Green and State Senator Whitney North Seymour Jr. Mike Seymour’s decision to seek congressional office created a state senatorial vacancy and Assemblyman John M. Burns and Roy M. Goodman both sought the nomination, while Thomas M. Brownell and Peter W. Hoguet vied for the nomination to succeed John Burns. A vacancy also was created in the 66th A. D., which Bill Green had represented for four years, and William J. Diamond, then Commissioner of Buildings, was given the party designation only to be challenged by Stephen C. Hansen, a relative newcomer to Republican politics. All of the candidates except Mr. Hoguet and Mr. Hansen were members of the New York Young Republican Club. Whitney North Seymour Jr., Roy M. Goodman, Stephen C. Hansen and Peter W. Hoguet won in the primary elections over Bill Green, John M. Burns, William J. Diamond and Thomas Brownell, respectively, but only Roy M. Goodman and Stephen Hansen were to be victorious in the General Election; 1968 saw the loss of a congressional and an assembly seat by the Republicans on the East Side.
1969 – In 1969, John V. Lindsay would seek re-election and all of the Club’s energies were directed towards achieving that goal. He again was designated by the Republican and Liberal parties but faced a challenge for the Republican nomination from Staten Island Senator John J. Marchi. Despite the hard work of Club members and other Lindsay campaigners, when the results came in on Primary Night, the winner was Senator Marchi, who also had the Conservative party nomination. The Democratic candidate who won his party’s primary was City Comptroller Mario A. Procaccino, a product of the Bronx Democratic organization who had benefited in the Primary Election by the vote being split among the “reform” Democratic candidates for the mayoral nomination. The defeat of Mayor Lindsay in the Republican Primary shocked his supporters gathered at his headquarters that night and cast a pall on the gathering until “reform” Democrats began to show up and, one by one, pledged their support to John V. Lindsay and said that they would become active in his campaign. This crossing of party lines would be the basis of the Lindsay victory that November but it would have a deleterious effect on the Republican party locally in the years to come.
1970 – In his bid for a fourth term in the Governor’s Mansion in 1970, Nelson A. Rockefeller was opposed by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, the Democratic and Liberal candidate. The Club’s efforts on Governor Rockefeller’s behalf were complicated by Mayor Lindsay’s decision to support Justice Goldberg. Despite this, most of the Club’s members did work for Governor Rockefeller’s election and for that of Senator Goodell, who also had the Liberal party nomination, but who was opposed by Democratic Congressman Richard L. Ottinger of Westchester and attorney-businessman James L. Buckley, a Republican seeking election as the Conservative party candidate. Governor Rockefeller again was victorious but Mr. Buckley, with 39 percent of the vote, defeated Senator Goodell and Congressman Ottinger.
1971 – John Lindsay switched his party registration to that of a Democrat – many in his administration did the same – and announced that he was a candidate for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. Although he eventually failed to garner the nomination, he had the support of many Club members, principally those who were part of his administration, but his and their efforts were to no avail.
1975 – Membership approved an amendment to the Club Bylaws allowing women to apply for membership in the New York Young Republican Club. Ellen Tencza becomes the first woman to lead the New York Young Republican Club.
1984 – Club members hold 40% of the leadership positions in Youth for Reagan. The Club begins chartering College Republican clubs throughout the City. Club President Thomas Stevens was named New York State Youth Coordinator for Reagan-Bush ’84. Chairman of the Board, Salvatore Calise, ran for Congress in the 9th Congressional District with strong support from the Club.
1988 – The Manhattan Young Republican Club merges with The New York Young Republican Club.
1990 – The Club fractured into two competing organizations, one affiliated with the New York Republican State Committee and one independent.
2001 – The independence of the New York Young Republican Club stood out among the New York Republican organizations and committees. Then Club President Robert Hornak and the Club leadership announced their support of Herman Badillo’s candidacy for Mayor of New York over the establishment’s choice of Michael Bloomberg. Many Club members worked feverishly on the Badillo campaign making a valiant effort, but in the end, Michael Bloomberg won the nomination. After the primary, the Club chose to not endorse the Republican candidate for mayor, because it felt Bloomberg was truly a liberal Democrat.
2002 – Club works closely with People for Pataki and is successful in getting George Pataki reelected to a third term as Governor of New York.
2003 – Club President Jason Weingartner elected Chairman of the Association of New York State Young Republicans.
2004 – Club provides largest volunteer contingent to the Republican National Convention in New York City.
2007 – The Club creates the first New York Straw Poll for the 2008 Presidential Elections.
2008 – The Club surpassed 1,000 dues paying members.
2009 – Club President Lynn Krogh is elected as Chairman of the Association of New York State Young Republican Club.
2011 – The Club hosts its 100th annual dinner gala.
2013 – Former Club President Jason Weingartner elected Chairman of the Young Republican National Federation and is appointed to Executive Director of the New York Republican State Committee.