Partying Politics: LIFE Goes to a Republican Women’s Bacchanal

GOP women's smoker in 1941 Connecticut.
Nina Leen—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Republican women in Connecticut enjoy a good old-fashioned bacchanal in 1941.
Curiosities
'40s

“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.


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