APRIL 25, 1950
HYDE PARK, Monday—I have just been told that an interesting book will come out next autumn, called, "The Career Women of America," covering the period from 1776 to 1840. The author is Elizabeth Dexter, and she and her husband have worked closely in the Unitarian Service Committee with the Friends Service Committee doing volunteer work with the refugees in Europe.
This book will tell the story of women in business and in careers in this country and will represent years of research and assembled material from many sources. I am looking forward to reading it because I think those of us who are trying in the modern world to meet the challenge of today are always stimulated by learning how the women in the earlier days of our history met the challenges of their day.
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Saturday was a busy day here. I had a chance to be a little domestic for a few hours and went over china and glass in one of the cottages to make sure that our guests would not run short.
A little after noon 40 Swedish labor leaders appeared for luncheon. They had spent three weeks travelling around this country studying the various industries here which they represent in Sweden. They had visited the house, the library and my husband's grave but went back again after lunch before motoring to Idlewild where they boarded their plane for home.
A very bright and able young woman, who represented the magazine in Sweden that sponsored this trip, acted as interpreter since there were only two or three among the group who knew any English. I tried French and German without much success, so thereafter devoted myself to seeing that they all had plenty to eat.
I hope they felt the spirit of friendliness in our welcome even though when as many as that come to my small cottage and we have to be indoors and cannot wander to the lawn, it is somewhat crowded. They presented me with a standard and a small Swedish flag in memory of their visit, and this I will give to the library so that future visitors will be able to see it.
They apparently enjoyed their contacts with our labor leaders and said that they had had an especially interesting time with Walter Reuther. They were overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality shown them everywhere.
I wanted to ask them a great many things but when everything has to be translated that is difficult. Nevertheless, during the few days I hope to spend in Sweden in June perhaps I can find some of the answers for myself. I have a feeling their cooperatives are more advanced than ours and I want to learn about housing both in their cities and rural areas.
After they had left I went over to the library to meet some foreign students from Columbia University and New York University who were spending the weekend with families in Wappingers Falls, which is a few miles south of us. These students come from India, South America, the Philippines, Africa and Europe and looked like an interesting group of young people.