March 23, 1942
CORONADO, Calif., Sunday—All travel today is more or less uncertain and may be interrupted. I discovered this on my trip across the country, when just beyond Tucson, I learned that the plane was almost entirely filled with ferry pilots. I think there were just two other civilian travellers besides me, who had been allowed to make the trip without interruption. One of the boys had an advance release of Mr. Archibald MacLeish's speech, which was delivered on the 20th, and it was passed around and read.
It led to much discussion, but there was general agreement with his thesis that the will of the people determines the final outcome of any war. I think the will of the people is pretty well set in this country, except for occasional slight confusions created by certain interests on one side or the other. They may succeed temporarily in gaining some particular point of interest to their group, but if we hold to the old theory that it is impossible to fool all of the people all of the time, we shall probably feel that whatever is the truth will eventually reach all the people.
Since I missed the morning plane on Friday for San Diego, I took the train and the trip was not without interest. The first person to speak to me was Mrs. Bancroft from San Diego. She and her husband have written a book on Southern California. They studied the bird life of the region for years, incidentally becoming very familiar with the geography and the Mexican people. Their knowledge has been of use in our preparation for defense and she was kind enough yesterday to send me her husband's book, which I know the President will enjoy.
I enjoyed also talking to a freelance writer, who is evidently the kind of man who does not think that you can put your liberalism up in camphor balls when the going is hard and take it out unharmed when difficulties come to an end. One hears this argued so much these days, that it is sometimes difficult to decide where common sense and patriotism end and self-interest begins.
Johnnie, Annie and Rommie met me at the station and we spent the rest of the day very quietly with Johnnie, Annie and their little boy. On Saturday, I moved over to spend the night with James and his wife, and had the pleasure of meeting two of his superior officers and saw the stations where both boys work. This morning I am leaving for Los Angeles.