MAY 16, 1942
MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Friday—The night train from Buffalo, N. Y. to Washington, D. C., is not always an easy trip, but I slept well Wednesday night and woke Thursday morning to have breakfast on the train before reaching Washington. I was pleased to find myself sitting at table with three people interested in airplane designing.
I find that men who design anything—boats, engines, airplanes—are always completely devoted to their occupation, and these gentlemen were no exception to the rule. They wanted to build their own designs and see them fly.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Bell, of the Bell Aircraft Co., were on the train and came to see me a few minutes before we reached Washington. I was glad to be able to see them again at 5:00 o'clock at the White House.
Soon after reaching home, I had the pleasure of meeting President Manuel L. Quezon of the Philippines. He was very ill while in Corregidor and still needs care. I was interested in hearing all the adventures which he and his family had been through. He praised his two daughters and fourteen-year-old son for the spirit in which they had taken the vicissitudes of war.
President Quezon said that for himself and his wife, who had lived fairly long lives, it would not have been so hard to face death, but he could not bear it for the young people. They never gave a sign, however, of being in any way troubled, nor did they ever complain of discomforts on any part of the trip.
I was interested also to hear President Quezon talk about certain reforms which he has instituted and which are already bearing fruit in improving the condition of the people. Then he spoke with some bitterness: "But the Japs have stopped all that, at least temporarily."
Luncheon was an entirely official party. In spite of that fact, I thought there was a warm feeling among all the guests. So many of them had known President and Madame Quezon in the Philippines and real friendship existed between them. Now there was added admiration for their courage and for that of the whole people who fought so valiantly with our own men to preserve their freedom and, for all we know, are still fighting in little bands here and there.
After lunch we said goodbye to our guests. In the afternoon I had a meeting and a number of people came to call. I received the Ambassador of Panama and Senora Jaen Guardia on their official visit. In the evening I spoke at a dinner in the interests of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives, and 11:00 took a plane for Miami, Florida, where we arrived this morning.