2013 marked the 60th anniversary of the Marine Officers' Spouses Club, formerly called the Marine Officers' Wives' Club, of Washington, D.C., which was founded in 1953 by Mrs. W.P.T. Hill (Edythe). In an article written by Josie Flynn in 1993, we learn about why Mrs. Hill created the club:
Of great concern to Mrs. Hill during this WWII period was the fact that the Marine Corps had suddenly grown from a small military service of only a total of 835 Officers to the huge WWII buildup of thousands. “It was just so difficult for anyone in Washington to get to know all the new people-at a critical time when we all needed to be in touch and know each other,” recalled Mrs. Hill. “I decided we should start a club for all wives that would serve as a meeting ground and contact point,” she said. After discussing the matter with Virginia Shepard (the Commandant’s Wife), they got all the names of Officers’ wives in the area (from Marine Personnel Office) and sent out an announcement of the first meeting. Thus, the Washington Marine Officers’ Wives’ Club was founded. Meetings, usually luncheons, were held once a month at the Army Navy Country Club and were usually attended by 100 to 150 ladies who came to hear prominent speakers, make new friends, and keep close contact with other Marine wives in the area. Mrs. Hill is the founder of the MOWC we continue to enjoy today!
In honor of our 66th anniversary, we are researching our history, locating photos and information to preserve our past and promote our present. Fortunately, we discovered nine scrapbooks in the Marine Corps Archives at Marine Corps Base Quantico, which had been saved in the collection of our 24th Commandant, General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. These photographs and newspaper articles, coupled with photos and newsletters that members have preserved, are helping us to piece together our history. We are using this research to create a slideshow; this is available to current members. We have also created a CD, which is available to any member who are interested.
We also have been collecting stories from our members that reflect on their lives as Marine spouses and their participation in our Club. If you have stories, information or photos that you would like to contribute, please contact our historian.