Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of the legendary Chinese nationalist Chiang Kai-shek, was known as an articulate and influential political figure. Educated in the United States and familiar with western culture, Madame Chiang Kai-shek assumed the role of her husband's spokesperson during World War II to gain allied support against a common enemy: Japan. In 1943, she traveled to the United States where her visit culminated in an address to Congress and a stay at the White House. On February 18, 1943, accompanied by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Chiang Kai-shek gave short improvised remarks in the Senate Chamber before delivering a longer prepared address in the House Chamber. She was the second woman, and the first person from China, to address a joint meeting of Congress.
Each United States senator was given three tickets for Madame Chiang Kai-shek's remarks in the Senate Chamber. This ticket was issued for the use of a senator's secretary. If the secretary was male, the ticket entitled him admission to the Senate floor. Female secretaries were admitted to the gallery overlooking the chamber.