SEPTEMBER 22, 1939
CARBONDALE, Ill., Thursday —Let me tell you first, today, about the end of my day in St. Paul, Minn. It was thrilling, chiefly because I saw a united group of women in action. Ten thousand, five hundred women filled the auditorium in the afternoon to look at a supper style show put on by Mrs. June Hamilton Rhodes of New York City. Women are traditionally interested in styles. But this had an object. The women of St. Paul were showing what their own shops could produce and helping to stimulate shopping at home and the development of industry in St. Paul.
Another side of their program contemplates bringing a variety of artistic and educational events to St. Paul. But on the first evening they centered their program around the third objective for which they are working—namely, an organization of women which will cover every block in the city and develop a program of city improvement.
Twelve thousand persons attended this evening session and you could not help but be inspired by the idea that these women were banded together in such numbers to influence the development of their city. The test, of course, is how well the effort is sustained and carried through. If it can live without political differences or personal jealousies creeping in, we may see a movement which could spread throughout the United States and accomplish wonderful things for all communities, rural as well as urban.
The eyes of the women of this country should be focused on St. Paul for the next few months, to watch the achievement of this pioneer band.
Now for a word about the fashion show, for I am fairly sure that this is my one and only style show for the year. The greens which were shown in many day and sports clothes are very soft and becoming in shade and are frequently combined with brown.
In one case, however, a light blue sweater made a pretty combination for sports wear. Almost every color and every combination, whether for day or for evening wear, has somewhere a touch of red. Your gloves can be red, or you may have a red feather in your hat or red piping on your suit. No color seems to be quite complete without that touch and I heard the women behind me say that the red accessories would be sold out in every St. Paul shop by the next day.
Those of us who have old-fashioned gold or silver jewelry which belonged to our grandmothers can bring it out and have it cleaned and put in order. It is all the fashion this year—because you can't be too much decorated.
One lady who called on me at the hotel were her grandmother's silk dress, with lace fichu and a handkerchief edged with real lace, a pin acquired in Europe somewhere around the 1850s and a ring which dated back to the Civil War. Worn as an evening dress, it would be entirely appropriate today.
Now we are on a train bound for Carbondale, Ill., and in a few minutes we hope to listen to the President addressing a special session of Congress.