Republican Women History

History of National Federation of Republican Women

Republican women’s clubs have existed for over 100 years. They were originally inspired by the Republican Platform of 1872, which said: “The Republican Party is mindful of its obligation to the loyal women of America for their noble devotion to the cause of Freedom.” With that, Republican women’s clubs were off and running. The oldest club on record was founded in Salt Lake City in the late 1800s.

Under the direction of Miss Marion E. Martin, who was then the Assistant Chairman of the Republican National Committee and National Committeewoman for Maine, and with the encouragement of RNC Chairman John D.M. Hamilton, an organizational meeting took place in Chicago on November 4, 1937. Thirty-eight women members of the Republican National Committee met to discuss the “desirability” of federating. The National Federation of Republican Women was founded at a conference held at the Palmer House in Chicago, September 23-24, 1938. The delegates adopted rules for governing the establishment of a National Federation of Women’s Republican Clubs to promote education along political lines, and to encourage the following purposes:

“To foster and encourage loyalty to the Republican Party and the ideals for which it stands; to foster cooperation between independent groups and the regular party organization, which are working for the same objectives, namely sound government; to promote 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 approach to the problems facing the Republican Party.”

The organization was originally known as the National Federation of Women’s Republican Clubs of America (NFWRC). The name was changed in January 1953 to the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW).

History of Palm Springs Republican Women Federated

In 1963, the CFRW met at the El Mirador Hotel in Palm Springs. Donna Murray, a long time Republican woman, was called to a luncheon with her old friends from Pasadena. During that luncheon it was suggested that Donna start a Palm Springs unit. So being a no-nonsense worker, Donna decided to apply for a charter. She found that it required ten members to start a unit. In a few weeks Donna had eight members.

In 1964, Donna Murray, the Charter President, applied for a charter for a Palm Springs Republican Women Federated. Since ten members were required, Donna appealed to some friends in Palm Desert to resign from their club and join Palm Springs. Sue Moore and Lucille Stecke joined Palm Springs to help get it started, then returned to palm Desert to the club called Desert Four. The first members were Donna Murray, President, Sue Moore, Lucille Stecke, Charlene Huston, Ruth Elder, Mavis Hooke, Helen Hansen, Rosella Stoddard, Phyllis Sills, Joan McManus, and Billie Mueller.

During the 1980s, those very exciting years of the Reagan Administration, PSRWF had grown to over 325 members, the largest club in Riverside County. Bob Hope, Betty Ford Pat Robertson, Pete Wilson, and other prominent Republicans were honored speakers at our meetings.

There is more to add to this very abbreviated history of PSRWF.