America’s entering of World War I impacted the social scene in Washington:
“There will be no formal dinner for the Cabinet officers and their wives at the White House this year. That affair, as well as the three other important dinners and the four receptions ordinarily given in the course of the three Winter months, is removed from the White House social calendar for the coming season.”
Well, we all have to make sacrifices in life.
Interestingly, this same phenomenon has not seemed to occur in 21st century Washington. Despite 9/11 and the war launched in its aftermath, the 2002 White House Correspondents Dinner — the crown jewel event of the D.C. social scene — continued unabated, with Drew Carey and President George W. Bush both performing standup comedy routines.
Entirely New Social Life in Washington: Formal Dinners and Official Receptions Abandoned — Strangers Heartily Welcomed in Circles Which Were Once Too Exclusive to Penetrate
From Sunday, October 21, 1917