SEPTEMBER 13, 1954
LONDON, Ontario, Sunday—Having recorded in a book, "Ladies of Courage," that we had a number of women mayors in the U.S., it was interesting to me to step off the train in Woodstock, Ontario, on Friday morning and be greeted by the Mayoress, Mrs. Smith.
The part of Canada through which we traveled earlier in the morning had suffered from drought this summer, just as so many areas of the U.S. have suffered. Corn was rather poor. I was very much astonished to see tobacco growing, until I realized that the climate here must be somewhat similar to that in Connecticut.
There are new houses everywhere. The area we came through had no tremendous developments, such as one sees in many parts of the U.S., but still one felt that there was more than usual activity in building. Here in the town, however, they tell us that conditions are somewhat different. Though they have had a good deal of industrial development and this is the center of a very rich dairying area (the cow which holds the world's record for milk production has a statue here in its honor and is owned by a local citizen) still they have several hundred homes for sale and a considerable amount of unemployment. It is hard to see why this should be so, but they think it is due to world conditions.
Woodstock and London, Ontario, are only about 25 miles apart. Since both have chosen the same subject for the lectures I am to give, I cannot help wondering whether the people of London will not already have heard by tonight whatever I have to say on this subject. But there may be less communication between the two places than I think.
The biggest news of the moment around here is the successful achievement of a young girl named Marilyn Bell, who swam across Lake Ontario. Her 42-miles swim was a long one for a 17-year-old girl, and her great achievement has certainly awakened a great deal of interest here, as I imagine it has in the U.S.
I did a tape recording in the afternoon. Afterward I had an opportunity to admire the trees and the vision of the man who planted two rows on either side of one of the main residential streets. He actually made the street wide enough so that none of the trees will have to be sacrificed if more traffic bedevils them here, as it does everywhere else in the world sooner or later.
After tonight's lecture, I will take the train back for Poughkeepsie.