On February 14, 1910, 12 women met at the home of Henrietta Wells Livermore (Mrs. Arthur Livermore) to organize a revitalized suffrage movement for the State of New York.
Mrs. Livermore was elected President of the group, which by 1913 had formed the entire state into women suffrage units working in assembly districts. After a seven-year effort, these women were rewarded by the election of November 6, 1917, when the suffrage amendment was passed for New York State. On January 1, 1919, women could vote.
In its November 10, 1917 issue, the Yonkers Herald said about the suffrage movement:
"From the organization's inception in 1910, Mrs. Livermore was the leader, and to her brilliant leadership much of its success is due."
Mrs. Livermore believed that women should know what they were voting about. She conceived of a national club for Republican women as a meeting place for the spreading of political knowledge to women voters: and in 1921 she founded, in New York City, The Women's National Republican Club.
The Club's first headquarters was in a loft at 38 West 39th Street, and when it moved in 1924 to 8 East 37th Street, President and Mrs. Coolidge formally opened the new facility.
The present building was planned in the early 1930's designed by noted architect, Frederick Rhinelander King, and built at 3 West 51st Street on the site of the former home of Andrew Carnegie. The cornerstone was laid amid much fanfare and press attention on May 22, 1933, and the new clubhouse was formally opened on March 26, 1934, at ceremonies attended by national, state and local Republican dignitaries.
Reporters wrote that the clubhouse was "victor alike over economic slump and political set back" and described the "splendid marble stairway." "the imposing entrance floor," and "the private dining room furnished in the Colonial style with fine mahogany highboys." One New York newspaper said, "The building has been planned as a working headquarters for politically minded women with facilities for mass meetings, speechmaking, schools of party politics and for the comfortable informal discussion that solidifies opinion."
President Coolidge took an active interest in the Club, and Mrs. Coolidge personally dedicated the handsome fourth floor library to her husband's memory. It remains the Calvin Coolidge Library today.
Nearly every Republican President since 1921 has been the guest of The Women's National Republican Club, as have countless other leaders in the fields of politics, government, diplomacy, the arts, and the humanities.
The Women's National Republican Club is unique. It is the oldest national club for Republican women and the only one to provide its members with a Clubhouse. The Clubhouse is owned by the Club's members, and the Club is a separate entity not officially or legally associated with any other organization, although its members work closely with the Republican party. The Club provides its members with excellent dining and meeting facilities and guest rooms close to the center of cultural, civic, business and political activities in New York City. It has members from every state and the District of Columbia.
Among its many active committees are the Henrietta Wells Livermore School of Politics, which organizes volunteers for campaigns and sponsors political education seminars and lectures; International Affairs, which hosts gala dinners honoring leading diplomats, Headliner Luncheons, bringing prominent speakers from a variety of fields to the club; and the Annual Awards, which, since 1921, has presented awards to leaders in such fields as politics, government, journalism, sports and the humanities.