Washington, DC was a very different place in 1959, the year of the founding of Welcome to Washington. At that time, the opportunity for visiting wives and professional women to make social contacts in the DC area was very limited. Very few social, cultural and educational organizations were available to them.
Being very well aware of the challenges facing women, an inspired woman, Marian Adair, recognized the need for an organization devoted to interaction between US women and those of other nations. Marian, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, came to Washington when her husband, Ross, was elected to Congress in 1950. She understood and took to heart President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1958 initiative “People to People”, which promoted international peace through developing and nurturing personal relationships across international borders.
During her 20 years in the area, Marian fulfilled her goal of creating opportunities for women to interact by founding, among many other organizations, the Welcome to Washington International Club (WTW). On April 13, 1959, its first meeting took place and as an indication of positive things to come, 135 women attended.
Fourteen special interest groups were chartered at that meeting – the Club was on its way!