FEBRUARY 6, 1956
NEW YORK—I have a letter from a young woman in California who states a rather difficult problem, and one that many other young women must have faced. Her story is this:
Her husband one day announced that he was going to Mexico on a short business trip. It turned out, however, that he wanted a divorce, and she discovered he had removed all his money from the state before leaving.
They had two children, three and four years old. He agreed to pay her $250 a month for their care, but nothing for her. She is evidently not trained for any kind of work outside, and cannot make enough to pay for keeping the children in adequate surroundings unless she is at home. Neither is she equipped, apparently, to get along on the allotted sum and eke it out in some way to make life more bearable for herself and the children.
There must be hundreds of women meeting this same problem. My correspondent insists that it would be in the interests of the country if she could devote herself to the children and have the income which would make it possible for her to do so, but this is a solution hard indeed to achieve through Social Security or legislation. Yet with juvenile delinquency one of our greatest problems, keeping a mother at home with her children is an important consideration. Perhaps there should be some way of giving training and of making some extra help available to achieve the results which mothers' aid was originally designed to achieve. This is no easy problem and I can well see that it will require some of the best thinking of our social scientists.
I had another letter yesterday telling me about a project called "Flag and Friendships Exchanges." This is one more effort "to draw the world together in peace and understanding." It has been praised by a number of officials in our country as well as by the under-secretary of the Ministry of Education in India.
The idea is that students of a public high school in one country exchange "flags and friendship" with the students of a public high school in a foreign country. There are ceremonies for the flag presentations, exchanges of letters and of the work of the students, followed by visits from both schools and also teacher exchanges.
About 25 such exchanges have already been carried out between U.S. high schools and foreign high schools. If any school is interested in obtaining more information, they can write to Mr. Sidney A. Teller, Hotel Windemere, Chicago 37, Illinois.