The first woman ever to cover a president was the late Helen Thomas. Before her death last year, she had been a fixture in the first row of the briefing room and at presidential news conferences for decades beginning with John F. Kennedy's presidency.
Until 1962, women weren't even allowed to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Thomas helped change that, but the corps has long been dominated by men.
And, for the record, here are the eight reporters -- all of them print reporters, it should be noted -- who got called on.
- Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico
- Cheryl Bolen, Bloomberg
- Julie Pace, Associated Press
- Lesley Clark, McClatchy
- Roberta Rampton, Reuters
- Colleen M. Nelson, Wall Street Journal
- Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post
- April Ryan, American Urban Radio
The eighth was a bonus. As is custom, when reporters thought Obama was heading for the exits, they shouted one last question at him. A male reporter asked Obama about his New Year's resolutions.
Obama ignored it and called on Ryan instead.
UPDATE: Press Secretary Josh Earnest on the thinking behind calling on all women: