FEBRUARY 19, 1940
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Sunday—I left Washington yesterday morning by air at 11:00 a.m. Senator and Mrs. Pepper came to see me off. I think they wanted to be quite sure that I actually started on my trip to Tallahassee. We took off under blue skies, but before long, clouds appeared on the horizon and I began to worry as to whether we would have bad weather before we reached Jacksonville. Fortunately the wind and rain did not bring us a very low ceiling and I was able to change in Jacksonville to a smaller plane. The weather grew worse and the clouds seemed to close in ahead of us. We were flying very low and every now and then the ground would disappear under the scudding clouds. We landed in Tallahassee in a downpour of rain, and I was worried about a group of girls who evidently came to see the plane come in and stood in the mud with little rivers running all around them.
We drove at once to Mrs. Moor's house, in front of which are some of the most beautiful oak trees, none of them less than a hundred years old. There is no doubt about it, trees like this make any park space really beautiful.
We reached the Florida State College almost an hour late. They have a fine campus with many new buildings which have been added under PWA or WPA. The Federal Government seemed to have contributed something of real value here under its emergency works program. We paused in the gymnasium to greet a big group of girls who could not get into the auditorium, and drove directly to the auditorium for the exercises. On our return to Mrs. Moor's house, the children fell upon me with requests for autographs in books and on sheets of paper for themselves and their friends.
I did not mean to stay for dinner, but since my hosts were to drive me over to Jacksonville, and they were kind enough to assure me that the meal would be short, I stayed and dined very sumptuously before leaving. Piloted by the state highway patrol, they drove me into Jacksonville through heavy rain and we arrived safely at about 12:30. This morning the same patrol drove me to Daytona, for the section of the train on which my secretary, Miss Thompson, was traveling, was three hours late.