THE MISSION of the California Press Association is to be the guardian of the history and traditions of California journalism, to recognize and honor contemporary achievements, to assure the future of California journalism through encouragement of education and to provide a social and educational forum for its members.One of the earliest press associations in the country, the California Press Association was founded in 1878 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.In 1925 and 1926, the association worked with the Southern California Editorial Association to form a trade organization—the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Today many members of Cal Press are also members of CNPA.Outstanding speakers and programs are presented at the association's annual awards luncheon and dinner in San Francisco the first Friday in December. Educational tours have been conducted in past years to places of interest in California, neighboring states, more distant places in the United States, and occasionally outside of the country.In another of its functions, the association gives public recognition at its annual winter meeting to outstanding newspaper people of the state, past and present, with six of the most coveted awards in California journalism: the Justus F. Craemer California Newspaper Executive of the Year Award, the Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award, the Jack Bates Award, the Mark Twain Award for Journalistic Excellence in California, established in 2010 to recognize journalists (writers, editors, and cartoonists) for their significant contributions to California journalism, and the election of two honorees to the California Newspaper Hall of Fame,: one who has been deceased for more than 10 years and one for less than 10 years from the entry deadline date of the nomination year.Membership in the California Press Association is by individual, not by newspaper or company. Some newspaper families in the state have been represented in Cal Press for three and four generations. Consequently, membership in the association, or what may be characterized as a "close professional family," is highly treasured.