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An Organization Called the Daughters of the House

February 05, 1938
An Organization Called the Daughters of the House Image courtesy of Library of Congress Representative Chase Going Woodhouse, an economics professor-turned-politician, served for two nonconsecutive terms, representing a competitive district spanning eastern Connecticut.
On this date, the Daughters of the House met in Washington, D.C., to elect officers for a social club composed of daughters, daughters-in-law, and nieces of Members of the House of Representatives. Organized in 1937 to “enable new girls in the congressional group to meet those who have been here in previous seasons and to bring together those of congenial interests,” Betty Lou Massingale, daughter of Samuel Massingale of Oklahoma, served as the group’s first president. Martha Carter, wife of Albert Carter of California and founder of a similar club for wives of new Members of the House, shared her expertise when she presided over the initial meeting of the Daughters of the House in March 1937. Throughout its short history, the Daughters of the House planned a variety of social activities for its members, including biking, swimming, and skating parties, as well as teas, picnics, and luncheons. The group also sponsored an annual dinner dance at the Shoreham Hotel and a breakfast in Rock Creek Park. The Daughters of the House held a series of luncheon meetings in the House Restaurant to discuss business and plan activities for the club. Eventually membership expanded to include unmarried sisters of Representatives and its scope broadened beyond the social scene to encompass charitable work. Members included a diverse cross-section of young women: full-time college students; lawyers; and congressional employees such as Margaret Woodhouse who served as the executive secretary for her mother, Representative Chase Going Woodhouse of Connecticut. After a hiatus during World War II, the group reorganized briefly during the early 1950s.

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