The Cosmos Club is a private social club, incorporated in Washington, D.C. in 1878 by men distinguished in science, literature and the arts. In June, 1988 the Club voted to welcome women as members.
Since its founding, the Club has elected as members individuals in virtually every profession that has anything to do with scholarship, creative genius or intellectual distinction.
Among its members, over the years, have been three Presidents, two Vice Presidents, a dozen Supreme Court justices, 32 Nobel Prize winners, 56 Pulitzer Prize winners and 45 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Club has a full panoply of programs for every member interest. Cultural programs include evening lectures, Noon Forums, musical concerts, book and author dinners. A well-stocked library offers members a quiet haven.
Among the social activities are movie nights, seasonal dinner dances and other special dinners. There are sightseeing and travel, chess and bridge tournaments and "clubs within clubs" for members with special interests— Cosmotographers, wine lovers or computer enthusiasts, for example. Members are kept informed of the activities of the Club through the monthly Cosmos Bulletin, the e-mailed weekly newsletter, and this website.
Members can entertain guests at the Club for meals and most Club programs, and may arrange for guests to use bedrooms. Guests are expected to know and abide by the House Rules, copies of which are available at the Club office.
A distinguishing feature of the Club is the great deal of effort spent by members in managing its affairs. More than 20 standing and special committees are appointed each year, involving some 350 members. Committee service provides a stimulating opportunity to benefit the Club and is often the route to elective office.
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