Margaret Woodward

 

An assortment of interviews with, and and articles about, Margaret Rupli Woodward (1910-2012), the living memory of the neighborhood. 

 

Page Evans, The Georgetown Dish, April 17, 2012

Photo by Page Evans (The Georgetown Dish, April 17, 2012)

 

 

Oral History

 Excerpts from an interview with Margaret Woodward, March 4, 1988, by Steven J. Dick and David K. Scott, U.S. Naval Observatory Oral History Program.


I was born in Washington DC at the old Garfield Hospital in 1910. We moved to Hall Place when I was about three years old. [Hall Place] was named after Mr. Hall, who lived at the bottom of the street in a big house.

Many of the children I played with were children of astronomers [who lived on Hall Place and worked at the Naval Observatory]. There was Amy Morgan, who was Herbert Morgan’s daughter. I remember he took his daughter Amy and me up to Sugarloaf Mountain in a beat-up old Ford, one of the early Ford wagons.

I remember Morgan very distinctly. As a matter of fact, he lived on until about early 1950s, and he and my mother were great friends. They both had heart trouble. They would compare how they felt and so forth. He had a wife who was constantly ill, and we all thought it was just wonderful the way he looked after her. Looking back on it, I went over to say goodbye to her before I went for a year as a student in Paris, when I was about 17 or 18, and she said she wouldn’t be here when I got back, but she was.

[The Naval Observatory] was our private playground, because it wasn’t locked. All the children walked down Observatory Lane, and we used to play under the old oak tree, the big one that now has a piece of cement in it, but which was even a bigger tree then, and there was a bench under it. Sometimes we got into the buildings, particularly the main building, and also the one with the biggest telescope at that time.

And there was an old airplane [on the grounds] that was left over from World War I that we clambered onto. I don’t know what kind of plane it was, except we would pick persimmons from the old persimmon tree there, climb into the plane. some of the boys would manage to make the wings flap. I was never quite clever enough to do that.

Well, then I remember having a boyfriend, and we used to walk around those grounds at night when I was approximately 25. It was a great, nice, quiet place to sit on that bench over there. It was completely open as late as 1935. I’m sure, and probably until 1940.

Of course, there was the Industrial Home School, which was a reform school, just next door, and there was a swimming pool where you could watch the kids swim, and I was very jealous, because I couldn’t get in.

There was a grammar school right on the grounds [of the Industrial Home School] which is now the Guy Mason Center. But when the children graduated from the eighth grade and went down to Western High School, my aunt [Theodosia Rupli, a teacher at Western] got to know them, and some of them seemed to be very nice boys. It was not only a reform school; it was also kind of an orphan asylum. When people wouldn’t know what to do with a kid, they’d put it there, so there was a mixture of different kinds of children. We were not worried about them.

[Wisconsin Avenue] was the old cobblestones, and there was a streetcar which ran on electric wires. It left Wisconsin Avenue on M Street, I think every half hour, and quite frankly, you could get from there to Rockville faster on that than you can get from there to Rockville now.

One of these two houses has been my base for 75 years, but I have been out of the country as a Foreign Service officer, so I haven’t been here all the time. I was in Holland, and in London during the war, and then I served two years in Ottawa, and then I was in Washington quite a bit in Trade Agreements and Refugee and Displaced Persons Divisions of the U.S. State Department.

I was brought up in the house next door, which was my mother’s house. That was 2234. Then the Eckerts rented [2232] from a man by the name of Powell, who lived at 2238. The Clemences moved in, maybe 1945. In 1955, when Clemence moved to the Observatory, I bought [2232] from Mr. Powell.

Clemence was very fond of music. My mother was also fond of music. He had a [Victrola], one of the early ones. We used to sit on the porch next door and listen to the music coming out of his house.

(March 4, 1988)

 

 

Early Days on Hall Place

Margaret Woodward’s memories of the residents of Hall Place in the first half of the 20th century (augmented by information from city directories and other sources).

 

“I have set down some recollections of early days, for what they are worth. I went up the west side of the street, across the top, and down the east side, house by house.

The people who lived on Hall Place early on were much more mixed (economically and occupationally speaking) than now. We had policemen, firemen, etc. etc. as well as bankers and astronomers. All the houses were either tapestry brick or red brick to start with, People sat on their front porches and talked and talked.”

Margaret Rupli Woodward, 1999

 

West Side of Hall Place:

2200      Freeman family, with a physically disabled son named Billy. (William Edmund Freeman, manager of the Friendship Branch, Farmers and Mechanics Bank. His son Billy worked in a convenience store at 2200 Wisconsin Avenue.)

2202      Another Freeman family with a good-looking son named Robert. I learn from “Toddy” Lyddane (Eugene T. Lyddane) that Robert died at age 50 and that Carol Freeman is his daughter-in-law. Much later 2202 was occupied by Alicia Weaver after the big houses on Wisconsin Avenue were gone. (J. Louis Freeman, William’s brother. The Freemans were sons of an English florist who married a Weaver. In the Fifties, when the big Weaver and Barnes houses on Wisconsin Avenue were torn down, 2202 was sold to Bessie Alice Barnes and Alicia B. Weaver. About 1955, this was the first house on the street to have central air-conditioning.)

2204      [Jarret G.] Huddleston, tile roofer who did the Pan-American Union, was the first owner. His shop was the Old Stone House in Georgetown. His daughter Clara married Ernst Bachschmid who bought 2236 Hall Place. As a teenager I mowed his the Huddleston front lawn for ten cents and back lawn for twenty. Later 2204 was rented to Ernst’s brother Emil, and the Huddlestons moved to 2236 with Ernst and Clara. (About the time their son was killed at Anzio, Mr. and Mrs. Huddleston joined their daughter and son-in-law at 2236, and 2204 was rented to Emil Bachschmid, an insurance salesman, and his wife Audre.)

2206      Snyder family – Evelyn (Mrs. Money) Clayton and Lloyd. I went to a children’s party there and met Bud Kengla. (Louis and Ethel Schneider. He was a machinist at the General Printing Office. Schneider’s Lane – where Calvert Street is now – was named for Louis’s grandfather. They were related to the Kenglas, descendants of the Lewis Kengla who built a house near Hall Place in 1816.)

2208      Lyddane family – Son Stewart (became well-known Georgetown doctor), Eugene (Toddy), and three daughters. Eugene (Toddy) and Mary Catherine now live on Q Street. Mr. Lyddane, Sr. ran a good grocery store in Georgetown and took orders in the morning from houses on Hall Place to which orders were later delivered. (The Lyddanes are related to the Kengla, Weaver, and Freeman families, and have a prominent memorial in Holy Rood Cemetery.)

2210      Quinn family – one son (Tommy, I think) worked at Reed Electric until 1996.

2212      Not sure – I think the original owner was a Mr. Brown, a policeman. (Alf V. Brown, policeman.)

2214      (Charles S. Lusk, Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. Later, Kenton Moomaw.)

2216      Fuchs family – raised chickens in backyard and sold eggs to some neighbors.

2218      (Bernhard W. Spille, a salesman for Pittsburgh Plate Glass.)

2220      Arnaud family – he worked at Naval Observatory, but was not an astronomer, and [circa 1921] had the first radio on Hall Place. (Joseph J. Arnaud, assistant, Naval Observatory.)

2222      Molyneaux family – still owns and rents it out. (John Molyneaux, Civil Service Commission)

2224      Durkin family. (Joseph and Helen Dierken, and their daughters Elizabeth and Anne.)

2226      Hoskinson family – had property in Culpepper, Virginia. I played with daughter Virginia. (Clarence H. Hoskinson, clerk, Postal Department.)

2228 Bruce family – twin sons, Donald and Douglas.

2230      Kranauers were second owners of house. (Joseph and Emma Kranauer, preceded by Charles B. Marine.)

2232      Collins, bricklayer – planted beautiful roses which are still growing. I live at 2232, which I bought from [Jesse] Powell in 1955. (James V. Collins, bricklayer. Mr. Powell (of 2238) bought the house in 1940, and rented it to astronomer Wallace John Eckert. The rent was taken over by astronomer Gerald Maurice Clemence––who moved from 2403 Observatory Place––between 1945 and 1955. Clemence played classical recordings that Margaret Woodward and her mother would sit on their porch to enjoy.)

2234      Theodosia Rupli (teacher at Western High School), her sister Anna, and me. (Theodosia and Anna Rupli were Swiss immigrants (1882). Theodosia Rupli was a language and mathematics teacher at Western High School from 1897 to about 1941. Her sister Anna was briefly a clerk at Western, but resigned in 1910 after her daughter Margaret was born. “Inquiry For Teachers”, Washington Post, March 17, 1910, p.2; “Rupli, Anna”, Washington Post, September 8, 1956, p.44; “Mrs. Rupli, Taught Here For 48 Years”, Washington Post, October 10, 1957, p.C2)

2236      Ernst and Clara Bachschmid. She was the much beloved Grande Dame of Hall Place until 1975. She was also a pillar of Mt. Tabor until she became a pillar of St. Luke’s. (Incidentally, Ernst remained a Lutheran until about 1955, when he decided to join Clara at St. Luke’s.) (Clara Huddleston (of 2204) married Ernst Bachschmid, an architectural draftsman with the Public Building Administration (and the brother of Emil Bachschmid at 2204). He was involved in the Truman-era renovation of the White House.)

2238      I don’t remember original owner. But about 1930 a Mr. Powell moved in. He was in charge of the army files so that during World War II he was able to give information to people about where their sons were. (Morris W. Lamond, bookkeeper. Then Jesse Powell, Vice-President, Municipal Improvement Company.)

2240      Davis family – this house burned down in about 1920 on a day when the hydrant was frozen. I think the father was obliged to move away. House later occupied Reinbold who was a mechanic at the Naval Observatory. (Catlett G. Davis, secretary. Later, Jacob Rheinbold, chief machinist at the Naval Observatory, and his wife Bertha. Margaret Woodward often played on the Observatory grounds with their daughter Betty.)

2242      Another Hoskinson family – got prosperous and moved away to Observatory Circle. (Hilleary G. Hoskinson, Vice-President, Riggs National Bank.)

2248      The biggest house at the top of the street was occupied by Judson Bowles, vice president of the bank at the corner of Wisconsin and M Street, I think it was called Potomac Bank. Mr. Bowles got me my first job typing at the bank during the summer. (B. Agee Bowles, vice-president, Potomac Savings Bank. His son, Judson Bowles, was Woodward’s playmate.

2250      Occupied by Burton (astronomer), and later by Greene, athletic coach at Western High School. (Matthew Frederickson, assistant, Naval Observatory. Then, Harry E. Burton, astronomer (and champion checker player). Then, Chester Burleigh Watts, whose work at the Observatory until 1919 was caring for standard clocks and sending out time signals.)

2252      Herbert Morgan, an astronomer, and active at Mt. Tabor. Church. Great person, had about the first Ford car on Hall Place. (Herbert Rollo Morgan, astronomer, and his wife Evelyn, were the earliest buyers on Hall Place, in November, 1911. A beat up old Ford wagon in which Morgan took his daughter Amy, and her best friend Margaret Woodward, on outings was the first car on Hall Place, in about 1918.)

2254      McKnew family – he worked in the State Department, which greatly impressed his wife who described him as being “in the diplomatic”. Dettmers bought 2254 later. (Franklin O. McNew, clerk auditor, State Department, and his wife Mary. Later, Arthur Dettmers, Jr., who had a jewelry shop on Wisconsin Avenue into the 1970s.)

2262      I don’t recall any apartment [building] being there until the late 1920s. In fact, there was a mud bank there in which I got stuck and had to be lifted out. (The Observatory Apartments became available in 1917 (“Well-known Washington Apartment Houses”, Washington Post, September 9, 1917, p.R2; September 16, 1917, pp. R3)

 

East Side of Hall Place:

2239      A family called Post. The Sinsheimers moved in about early 1920s – first Jewish family caused a little stir. I have always been proud of my mother being the first to welcome them. (Maurice and Estelle Sinsheimer; Mr. Sinsheimer was a salesman at E. Kahn & Co., wholesale liquors.)

2237      Mr. Hammond – walked over every night at midnight to Naval Observatory to send time to ships at sea before it was done electronically. (Astronomer John Churchill Hammond and his wife Lillian were married in 1911, and bought the house that year. Woodward’s childhood recollection that Hammond sent the time to ships at sea sound more like those of Chester Watts, at 2250 Hall Place).

2235      Saks family – I was jealous of the Saks girl who was a great toe dancer.

2233      Mrs. Graves – neighborhood piano teacher – not inspiring. (Lyman and Eunice Graves, preceded by William C. Poston.)

 

N.B. At some point the following houses were renumbered:

2231      The McDowells – lots of children. Paul committed suicide. (Jessie Ellen McDowell Keyes attended the annual Hall Place block party in the late 1990s.)

2229-2219      I am unclear about original owners except for Eby family which lived at about 2223 [2225]. Later David Brinkley is said to have rented a room along there somewhere.

2217      Mrs. Fields, the neighborhood seamstress. (Prior to that, Miner W. Buell, draftsman. Buell’s son helped Margaret Woodward with arithmetic in sixth grade.)

2209      Levis – turned my cellar into an apartment at 2232. (Curtis W. Levis, Maritime Commission, a descendant of a Pennsylvania family that farmed north of Glover Park in the 1830s.)

2201      The red brick house was occupied by the Johnson family. [Their daughter] Myrta Johnson lived there until about 1997. (Clifford L. Johnson, financial campaign director.)

 

 

 

Margaret Rupli Woodward Reflects on Challenges of First Female Correspondents

Voice of America News, March 25, 2009

 

In the early years of radio broadcasting in the United States, women were not hired as reporters.  They were either entertainers or worked behind the scenes.  But starting in World War II (1939-1945) that began to change.  Five American women became the first female broadcast news correspondents, reporting from Europe about the war.  Among them was Margaret Rupli Woodward who was stationed in Holland.

Margaret Rupli Woodward was in Holland in 1940, working for the NBC radio network. She was its first woman correspondent.  She went on shortwave radio live, telling an American audience what was happening in Holland, just months before Nazi Germany invaded the country.

“This is Margaret Rupli speaking from Holland,” Woodward announced. “The Dutch are anxiously watching spring developments in Europe for Holland has suffered almost as much in the war between the allies in Germany as the belligerants themselves.”

Woodward was not a journalist when she was hired, but she was well educated and knew several languages.  She was in Amsterdam with her husband, David Woodward, a British newspaper reporter.  Now, at 99 years old, she remembers how lucky she was.

“They wanted an American voice, and I’ve got an American voice.  They wanted somebody whose voice projected and mine does,” she said. “And I think basically, they couldn’t find a man and I was available.”

In Amsterdam, she met Edward R. Morrow, an American broadcaster famous for his reporting on the war.

Murrow worked for CBS. He had hired photographer Mary Marvin Breckinridge as the network’s first female correspondent. She broadcast from various locations in Europe.  Even though Woodward worked for a rival network, Murrow gave her advice on how to write stories.

“Use understatement on everything you do,” Woodward recalled. “It was good advice.”

Woodward says NBC let her write whatever she wanted, but Dutch military censors had to approve her scripts.  Her memories come back as she reads a story from March 10, 1940.

“All foreign planes will be forbidden to land at the Amsterdam airport after tomorrow and everywhere in front of the government buildings, newspaper offices and other key points there has been a guard on sentry,” she read.

Germany invaded the country two months later.  On the first day of the attack, a bomb exploded outside the building where Woodward did her  broadcasts. She had hoped to air the story but was not able to get through. As Germany occupied Holland, it became too dangerous to stay.  She and and her husband fled to England on a coal barge.

“I just turned off the chicken that was on the stove and left with a couple of pairs of socks for David, couple of toothbrushes for us, and what we had on,” she said.

In London, Woodward reported her escape from Holland.  It was one of the last broadcasts she did.  She was a highly-praised reporter for six months.  She left London, returned to the United States and asked NBC for a full-time reporting job.

“They just laughed at me,” Woodward recalls. “I went down to the NBC studios and I said, ‘Look, can you hire me?’ and they said no.”

After World War II, none of the four other American women correspondents were heard on the air again. And those who tried couldn’t find other jobs in broadcasting.

(March 25, 2009)

 

http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-2009-03-26-voa14-68724447/409749.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj527rjEmxI

 

 

 

 

Meg Woodward: 100 Years in DC––97 Years in the ‘Hood

Excerpted from: Roger Mingo, Glover Park Gazette, February 2010

 

Margaret Rupli Woodward (Meg, to most of us) celebrates her 100th birthday this month. She was born in Washington on Feb. 23, 1910 and moved to Hall Place at age three to a brand new house—–one of the last ones built on Hall Place.

Meg remembers watching from the steps of her new house 97 years ago as the movers brought in the furniture. Her early playmates included daughters of the National Observatory’s astronomers. The Guy Mason playground was about 70 years away from completion, so Meg and her friends spent much of their time on the Observatory’s grounds, which was unfenced and open to the public. They played in the open fields behind Hall place, caught frogs in the swampy area along Schneider’s Run (now Tunlaw Road), and picked blackberries near where Stoddert School now stands. Nearly all things can be overdone, however, and Meg says she thinks her mom and aunt made entirely too much wild blackberry jam.

Meg attended Fillmore School (from Kindergarten to sixth grade); Jackson School (seventh and eighth grades); and Western High (ninth to 12th grades; Western is now called Duke Ellington). She graduated—–salutatorian—–in 1927, at age 17. She went on to get a Bachelor of Arts from Goucher College in 1931 (studying for a year in Paris along the way and being elected to Phi Beta Kappa), and later studied economics at the University of Chicago after working in Geneva for a few years and for the Department of Labor at various locations.

While living as a newlywed in Amsterdam in 1939, Meg was the first woman hired by NBC as an on-air broadcaster and got storytelling advice and later a congratulatory accolade from Edward R. Murrow, who worked for NBC’s rival CBS. Her broadcasting career was cut short, however, when the Germans invaded Holland in May 1940, and Meg was forced to escape by coal barge to England, neck and neck with the queen of Holland (who had the somewhat more deluxe accommodations of a naval ship). Her pioneering on-air exploits are of sufficient note to be featured in books and magazine articles.

Meg worked for various other agencies during and immediately after World War II before joining the State Department and becoming a Foreign Service Officer, retiring in 1962. Since then, she has traveled the world and has worked in a variety of volunteer jobs here and abroad but has kept her ties to Glover Park. She wrote the “Glover Park History” column for the Gazette in the 1970s and entertained neighbors at the sometimes-annual Hall Place block parties with stories from her early years in the neighborhood. Edward R. Murrow’s tutelage seems to have paid off.

Meg’s 97 years of residence almost certainly qualify her as the longest-term resident of Glover Park, even if you deduct her years abroad, unless you are a stickler and point out that she moved here before Glover Park was Glover Park.

(February, 2010)

 

 

 

 

Photo: Page Evans

 

 

Like a Good Neighbor, Margaret Woodward is There … For a Century

Page Evans, The Georgetown Dish, April 17, 2012

 

In a city as transient as Washington, it’s hard to find true locals. Sure, people might boast of having been here since the Eisenhower administration, but try finding someone who has lived here since William Howard Taft was president. Now that’s a native Washingtonian.

Margaret Rupli Woodward has been in Washington for more than a century. True, she’s not the only centenarian in town, but she just might be the only centenarian who has lived in the same house for 99 years. Woodward, who recently turned 102, moved into the house on Hall Place, in what is now Glover Park, when she was three years old. Back then, the road was dirt and chickens roamed her back yard.

Woodward’s mother and aunt bought the brick row house for just under $5000 in 1913, giving new meaning to a buy-and-hold investment strategy.  “I like to tell people, I was born into a five thousand dollar neighborhood and now I live in a million dollar neighborhood,” Woodward chuckles, her cloudy blue eyes crinkling up. “And I haven’t moved.” The family later purchased the house next door and used it as a rental property. Woodward still owns both.

But while Woodward is entering her hundredth year on the block, her life on Hall Place has hardly been sedentary. After graduating from Goucher College (Phi Beta Kappa) and studying economics at University of Chicago, Woodward married a British newspaper reporter. They ended up in Amsterdam where she became one of the first female announcers for NBC radio. When the Germans invaded Holland in 1940, Woodward and her husband, along with members of a ballet troupe, escaped on a coal barge. “That was the first time I ever got intentionally drunk,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to be sober while crossing the North Sea in the middle of the night during a war.”

When she returned to the states, Woodward tried getting a job with NBC, but, as she recalls, “They weren’t hiring women. The only reason I got the job in Amsterdam was because I was well-educated, and I had a voice that projected well.”  For the record, her throaty voice still projects well. And while her hearing is not as sharp, her memory is still very much intact. She never returned to broadcasting, but she did retain some advice Edward R. Murrow gave her. “He told me, ‘Don’t ever make it dramatic. Use understatement. “That was good advice.”

Woodward wound up becoming a foreign service officer with the State Department, traveling extensively throughout Europe. All the while, the house on Hall Place remained her base. “I always kept my things there.”

Although Woodward never had children (she and her husband divorced in 1947), she’s seen her fair share grow up on Hall Place. She also tutored children through her church for years after retiring from the State Department in the 60s. But it wasn’t just children she helped. Woodward spent a lot of time volunteering at a local nursing home, often visiting friends who used to live on the block. “But I seem to outlive everybody,” Woodward laughs, nodding her head of thick silver hair.

“There used to be all kinds of different people. There was a lawyer, a milkman,” Woodward says of the residents on Hall Place. “Now it’s all young professionals. It used to be more mixed up. This house had a bricklayer in it. My aunt was a school teacher. And there were a lot of astronomers” who worked in the nearby Naval Observatory.

“When we moved here, basements were used for coal. Now they have tenants.”

If anyone knows how to be a good neighbor, it’s Woodward. Her advice? “Be friendly, but mind your own business.”

As for secrets to her longevity, Woodward, who could easily pass for 85, credits “good genes and a good care-taker.” Maria Teresa Madariaga, a nurse’s assistant, came here from Chile to care for Mrs. Woodward after she had eye surgery in her 90s. She thought the job would last about two weeks. “Look at me now, seven years later,” she laughs, walking over to Woodward to help her readjust her pink floral scarf. But Madariaga, 54, wouldn’t think of leaving Woodward now. “She’s like my grandmother, my mother, my daughter, my friend.”

Woodward may credit Madariaga for her staying power, but Madariaga credits Woodward’s attitude and personality. “She has a good sense of humor and she doesn’t keep anger,” Madariaga says. “Yes, she can get sad sometimes, but not angry. In the seven years I’ve been with her, I’ve never heard her talk bad about someone.”

Neighbors on Hall Place have a similar respect for Woodward, regarding her as a neighborhood treasure. “The thing she has given to all of us, something that is unique and irreplaceable, is a specific history of where we live, and how lucky we are to be part of that history,” says Hall Place resident Nancy Tartt. “That sense of place that is difficult to find in our fast-moving culture. I will always be grateful to her for that.”

Woodward, too, is grateful. Perhaps heeding Murrow’s advice about being understated, she takes her age in stride. “I just accept it,” she says matter-of-factly. “I never asked to be a hundred. It never occurred to me that I’d be a hundred. Now I’m even more surprised to be 102. No one else on Hall Place has lived that long.”

And she would know.

(April 17, 2012)

 

http://thegeorgetowndish.com/thedish/good-neighbor-margaret-woodward-there-century

 

 

 

 

Margaret Rupli Woodward

Washington Post, July 22, 2012

 

Margaret Rupli Woodward (Age 102), on July 18, 2012, in Washington, DC. A native Washingtonian, Margaret is survived by cousins, Hattie Rupli, Dan Rupli, Robin Rupli, Kathy Parker, Randy Rupli, Andrew Rupli, Erika Auchterlonie and Jason Rupli. We express our deepest gratitude to Maria Teresa Madariaga, her devoted caretaker and friend. Margaret lived a remarkable life, both personally and professionally. She was blessed with extraordinary intellect and good humor that served her well to the end. Her family and friends will miss her terribly. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 19, 2012, 12 noon at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1500 Harvard Street, NW, Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030 and EMILY’s List, P.O. Box 96612, Washington, DC 20077-7261

(July 22, 2012)

 

 

 

Margaret Rupli Woodward, Wartime Radio Broadcaster, Federal Employee

Emily Langer, Washington Post, August 26, 2012

 

Margaret Rupli Woodward, one of only a few female American radio journalists reporting from Europe during World War II, and who later worked for the federal government for two decades, died July 18 at Georgetown University Hospital. She was 102.

Her death, of congestive heart failure, was confirmed by her cousin Robin Rupli. Mrs. Woodward had lived in the same house in the Glover Park neighborhood in the District for almost a century.

In the late 1930s, Mrs. Woodward was living in Europe with her then-husband, a British journalist who was covering the buildup to World War II. In early 1940, the couple moved to Holland, where Mrs. Woodward was hired by NBC. She used her maiden name in her radio broadcasts.

After Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, Mrs. Woodward and her husband escaped to England on a British coal barge. She made one broadcast from England and one more when she returned to the United States shortly thereafter. Her wartime journalism work is documented in books including the volume “Hard News: Women in Broadcast Journalism.”

She worked for the federal government until her retirement in 1961, with assignments at the Labor Department, as a Foreign Service officer in Canada and with the State Department in Washington.

Margaret Dorothea Rupli was born in the District. She was a 1927 graduate of Western High School and a 1931 French graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore. Before the war, she worked in Geneva through the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and at the Labor Department.

Mrs. Woodward volunteered at the All Souls Unitarian Church and belonged to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, both in the District.

Her marriage to David Woodward ended in divorce. She had no immediate survivors.

 

(August 26, 2012)

 

 

________________________________________________________

Carlton Fletcher

 The citation and acknowledgement of my research is greatly appreciated.

All rights reserved.

 

 Questions and corrections may be directed to

carlton@gloverparkhistory.com

 

The support of the Advisory Neighborhood Council (3B) is gratefully acknowledged.