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The Women’s National Republican Club was organized in 1921, one year after the 19th Amendment was adopted guaranteeing American women the right to vote. Dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge, the club is the oldest national club for Republican women in the country. On the opening of its current building in 1934, one New York newspaper described the club as “a working headquarters for politically minded women with facilities for mass meetings, speech making, schools of party politics and for the comfortable informal discussion that solidifies opinion.”
I am honored to speak to this august group, about the wealthy suffragists who leveraged their social cachet for political power, using their celebrity to sway public opinion on the question of whether women should vote. Like Oprah Winfrey, their endorsement conferred enormous publicity on a cause said to be in the doldrums, taking Votes for Women from dowdy to fashionable in one generation.