In 1933, two rebellious women bought a home in Virginia’s woods. Then the CIA moved in.Breaking News
Before the spies came, the house was perfect.
Five thousand square feet, wide windows, a grand staircase, a front porch with a panoramic view of nature. The year was 1933, and Northern Virginia was still the countryside, even with Washington just across the Potomac. So it was the ideal retreat for Florence Thorne and Margaret Scattergood, two pioneers of the American labor movement who defied the gender expectations of their time.
“Florence said, ‘Of all the houses we looked at, this is the only one I would care to live in,’ ” Scattergood recalled years later. “That was pretty final.”
The women lived at the estate for a decade before it appeared that some federal agencies were also looking to buy property across the Potomac. And they wanted the land where the big white house sat.
In 1948, Thorne, 71, and Scattergood, 54, made a deal: They would sell their 30 acres to the government, but only if they could live out the rest of their lives in their home. Any agency that acquired the land would have to abide by that agreement.
comments powered by Disqus
- Josh Hawley Earns F in Early American History
- Does Germany's Holocaust Education Give Cover to Nativism?
- "Car Brain" Has Long Normalized Carnage on the Roads
- Hawley's Use of Fake Patrick Henry Quote a Revealing Error
- Health Researchers Show Segregation 100 Years Ago Harmed Black Health, and Effects Continue Today
- Nelson Lichtenstein on a Half Century of Labor History
- Can America Handle a 250th Anniversary?
- New Research Shows British Industrialization Drew Ironworking Methods from Colonized and Enslaved Jamaicans
- The American Revolution Remains a Hotly Contested Symbolic Field
- Untangling Fact and Fiction in the Story of a Nazi-Era Brothel