National Federation of Republican Women
The Story Began
many years before women even had the right to vote. Inspired by the Republican Platform of 1872,, which said: "The Republican Part is mindful of its obligation to the loyal women of America for their noble devotion to the cause of Freedom...," Republican women's clubs were off and running. In fact, the oldest such club on record was founded in Salt Lake City in the late 1800s.
It was in 1938 that Marion Martin, assistant chairman of the Republican National Committee, called a meeting at the Palmer House in Chicago to organize these club into a national organization.
States in which Republican women's clus were organized on a "statewide" basis sent delegates and alternates to that meeting with a request to affiliate with such an organization. To be considered "statewide" at that time, a state or local club had to have members in 60 percent of the counties of that state.
Eleven states became the charter states of NFRW - California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
At the age of 31, Joyce Arneill of Denver, Colorado, was elected the first president of the Federation, and the organization began to grow.
At the time of NFRW's founding, three states - Maryland, Virginia, and Alabama had not even ratified the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting suffrage to women.
And yet the National Federation of Republican Women - born in a climate of defeat, grew in size and strength, providing a vehicle for women concerned with the direction of our government.
The NFRW consists of thousands of active members in local clubs across the nation ad in several U. S. territories. The goals of those women who met in Chicago in 1938 continue to be the goals of the NFRW - to encourage women's participation in the governing of our nation, to elect Republicans to office at all levels, and to promote public awareness of the issues that shape America.
Biennial national conventions have been held in cities across the nation, with U. S. presidents and vice presidents, first ladies, cabinet members, legislators, party leaders, political experts, and celebrities attending. Presidential candidates never miss these meetings. They know that many of those attending will be delegates to the Republican National Convention or will be instrumental in the delegate selection process. They know that these women are the GOP's grassroots activists.
"To foster and encourage loyalty to the Republican Party and the ideals for which it stands - to promote education along political lines - to encourage closer cooperation between independent groups and the regular party organization, which are working for the same objectives, namely sound government, to promote an interchange of ideas and experiences of various clubs to the end that the policies which have proven particularly effective in one state may be adopted in another, and to encourage a national attitude and national approach to the problems facing the Republican Party.”