Capitol Hauntings

As part of my research efforts in preparing the manuscript for The Essential Ed Koterba, I read all of my dad’s articles from newspaper clippings my mom saved. For this upcoming Halloween, I’m sharing the following original clipping of a 1956 article about “Capitol Hauntings.”


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Royal Reflections

In the popular 1950s column A Bit of Washington, Ed Koterba offers personal reflections of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the U.S. 60 years ago, including insightful observations of Prince Philip, Mamie Eisenhower, and then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

Prince Philip


Ed Koterba greets Queen Elizabeth 60 years ago today

Since ascending the thrown in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has visited the United States on five occasions. Her first visit to the U.S. was exactly 60 years ago today, October 17, 1957. Ed Koterba, one of 1,500 reporters to greet the queen, was busy brushing up on his etiquette a month before this historic visit.

Date with the Queen


On the day of the visit, Koterba details the “queenly handshake.” In his description of the queen’s appearance, one might say the writing is not quite in keeping with today’s PC standards (e.g., “. . . an attractive housewife with jewels”), but keep in mind, this was written in 1957.

A Queenly Handshake

One Year Anniversary of Book Release

Today is the one year anniversary of The Essential Ed Koterba release date. I have gained many new friends over the past year and am thankful for their support. I want to take this opportunity to thank them and all the other readers for their encouraging words.

Here is just a sampling of comments from readers:

“There is a longing, as well as mourning, for the sort of journalism that existed in days past. . . . [It was a time when] syndicated columnists were the only reason a great many people bought newspapers. One of those superstar columnists was Ed Koterba, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated former Washington Times-Herald and Washington Post reporter.” (Mary Stanik, Phoenix, Arizona)

“Koterba’s writings hold up extraordinarily well [in the twenty-first century], with insights into important political and public figures of the era as well as compelling snapshots of life in the US in the 1950s.” (Gerry Lonosga, Indiana University’s Media School)

“This compilation of the famous newspaperman’s columns, annotated by his son, is an engaging read which will take you back to the Cold War era, . . . show you firsthand the workings of Washington, D.C. during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, and give you keen insight into the adventures (and amusing misadventures) of one American family. . . . Koterba’s folksy style and astute observations of his fellow man combined with his son’s reflections on his father’s life and career make this volume a must read.” (Todd Dorsett, Waynesboro, PA)

“Seeing important historical developments through the intuitive, nice-guy, apolitical lens of Ed Koterba is refreshing — an intriguing alternative to the typical historical accounts.” (Ann Warner, Romney, WV)

“It is really hard putting this great collection of stories down. [Koterba’s] attention to detail, his craftsmanship with the English language, his love of the “average Joe” — it would be tough to say which was Koterba’s greatest gift. But thankfully he shared those gifts for many years through his newspaper column.” (Steve Bailes, Capon Bridge, WV)

“Awhile ago I sat down with [this book] to read for about 10 minutes. I was astonished that it turned into an hour and a half. I was thrilled, delighted, often laughing out loud. This is spectacular reading! It’s enlightening, historic, and amusing. This is a book [about the 1950s], yet it is timeless. . . . It recalls for me many important events, and brings back names of worldwide leaders of earlier times.” (Paul Chalfant, Shepherdstown, WV)

“This book meets all three of my criteria for a great read: I laughed; I cried; I learned something.” (Beth Zeilor, Romney, WV)

“The Essential Ed Koterba was a joy to read. The book made me laugh, smile, reflect and choke up. Each day I looked forward to another column and was never disappointed. Thank you Ed Koterba Morgret for bringing your precious father back to life and sharing him with us via this collection so sensitively put together.” (Elsie Ferrara, Stamford, CT)

“[The Essential Ed Koterba] is a delightful mixture of nostalgia, humor and pathos.” (Sanford Kluger, Englewood Cliffs, NJ)

Newspaperman Ed Koterba was NOT the “enemy of the people”

Mary Stanik, reviewer of the book, The Essential Ed Koterba, recently posted the following:

In a time when journalists are criticized for their work, it might be just the right time to read the story of a journalist who lost his life while in the service of journalism. Ed Koterba was a famed Washington correspondent who was lauded by President Kennedy the day after his June 1961 death. Koterba’s son, Ed Morgret (Ed Koterba Morgret), has compiled an extensive collection of his father’s columns. This book should be read by all who want to see what journalists do and why they do it. I was honored to be asked to review The Essential Ed Koterba.

My father, Ed Koterba, was a beloved journalist during the 1950s and early 1960s who had a following of over a million readers a day. He also served as a White House correspondent under the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations (up until his death in 1961). I believe he epitomized journalistic integrity of that time period. In his role as a non-partisan Government watchdog for the American people, he was hard-hitting but fair. His columns earned him respect across the political spectrum, as evidenced by multiple pages in the Congressional Record devoted to tributes to him from both Republican and Democrat senators and congressmen. President Kennedy referred to Ed Koterba as “a most outstanding newspaperman.” I, too, am longing for those days when a free press was considered a necessary component of a free democratic society rather than the “enemy of the people.”