JULY 29, 1938
HYDE PARK, Thursday—The luncheon in mid-summer, yesterday at Delmonico's, for Miss Kirsten Hesselgren, would have done credit to any committee in the depth of winter. To have 500 women come into New York in the heat was a tribute to the committee and Miss Kenyon, as well as to the guest of honor. Miss Hesselgren has a lovely face and the difficulty which she experienced with some of our English words only added to the charm of her speech, intriguing everyone to pay deep attention while she was talking. The subject itself was very interesting, for the legal status of women is coming to be recognized as a question of much importance the world over.
We, here in America, with our varied state laws, have a small idea of the difficulties entailed in getting any kind of uniformity in countries that operate under many different types of law. I had realized, of course, that the committee of the League of Nations would have to study the question under common law and the Napoleonic code, but I had entirely forgotten that there would be Hindu and Mohammedan law, as well as a variety of tribal customs, to be considered.
I loved Miss Kenyon's story of the ever-cheerful, learned English member of the committee who casually mentioned that one of his acquaintances had gone into central Asia to study the tribal laws in regard to marriage. The committee never obtained any information because the gentleman had never returned. It looks as though, if this committee were to stay intact, they would have to do without a certain kind of knowledge. Mrs. Catt as usual made a great contribution to the meeting and everyone was deeply appreciative of her presence.
I had time yesterday to go the Thrift Mart at 15 West 56th Street New York City. This is run by the womens' division of the 1938 Greater New York Campaign Joint Distribution Committee. They have made two floors of a house resemble an attractive first-class specialty shop. It seemed to me they had acquired much really good merchandise which, with a little effort by the buyer, could be made most serviceable. The lady who showed me around told me that it was run on a volunteer basis. That is an achievement for any committee.
I congratulate the committee in charge and particularly its chairman, Mrs. David M. Levy.
I was back in Hyde Park in time to see my grandchildren before supper and have a swim, which was most cooling after a hot day. Today is clear and not too warm and I am waiting for my grandchildren to finish their ride and come over for a swim before lunch.
This afternoon, Mrs. Scheider and I are planning to take a short motor trip, the first she has taken since her illness. Two of our friends who live in Westbrook, Conn., asked us to spend the night and we hope to be over there enjoying their cool breezes late this afternoon. I feel as though this were quite an adventure.