GOP Women Party Hard, 1941
‘On the evening of May 20,’ begins an article in the June 16, 1941, issue of LIFE magazine, ‘members of the Young Women’s Republican Club of Milford, Conn., explored the pleasures of tobacco, poker, the strip tease and such other masculine enjoyments as had frequently cost them the evening companionship of husbands, sons and brothers.’
Thus the storied weekly and photographer Nina Leen chronicled the shenanigans that erupted when a group of GOP women got together for an old-fashioned ‘smoker’ (noun: an informal social gathering for men only) on one long, memorable night in southern New England.
Dawn found the hall filled only with litter: “Porters agreed they hadn’t seen so many butts since [the] State Firemen’s Convention in 1938.” (The porters were pleased, however, that the spittoons were unused.) And where were the men while all this occurred? LIFE reports they were “flabbergasted” by the smoker and many “spent the evening playing bingo with abstainers and Democrats at another hall nearby.”
Read more: life.time.com