Its sole purpose is to hold an annual banquet each January honoring the birthday of General Robert E. Lee. There are approximately 200 members. Each member is eligible to bring up to two guests to the $200-a-plate dinner. The club always serves filet mignon and lobster.
No press coverage is allowed inside the banquet hall and the proceedings are ostensibly secret, but the Washington newspapers always seem to get a fairly detailed blow-by-blow description anyway. Regardless, the congenial atmosphere lends itself to politically-incorrect humor. In essence the event is just another roast, providing one more showcase for Washington bigwigs to unveil their professionally-written jokes.