APRIL 2, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday —We had a smooth flight from Mobile, Ala., to Greensboro, N. C., but I must say that getting up at 4:45 a. m., seemed a trifle early! I was much impressed to be greeted at Hotel King Cotton by the proprietor and his daughter, who allowed us to go to bed for several hours.
The poor Secret Service man, however, who had met us and arranged to motor us to Fayetteville, said he had had no sleep because everyone was telephoning him to find out if we could drive thirty to fifty miles off our route to see some point of interest.
We proceeded leisurely by motor to Fayetteville and as we went through Fort Bragg we picked up Major Eugene Harrison, one of our former White House aides who is now aide to General Devers.
When the President's train pulled in, we had a few minutes before he got off and I had a chance to admire the tan acquired by all the fishermen of his party. The President looks not only tanned but very much rested and is in fine spirits.
The Governor of North Carolina and Mrs. Broughton came in his car soon after the President arrived. Then Mrs. Broughton, Miss Thompson and I, with Major Harrison got into one car while the President, the Governor, the Mayor and General Devers headed the procession in an open car. We drove down the main street to the old Court House, built on arches in the old days so the slave market could be held underneath the building.
The drive through Fort Bragg was extraordinarily interesting. They have expanded rapidly. In fact, I heard the General say they put up a building of some kind every thirty-two minutes!
The camp stretches twenty-five miles in length and eleven miles across. The equipment is adequate for training, so the men are kept very busy. A great effort is being made to provide occupation at the camp for them during leisure hours. There is an athletic program, and a group of hostesses plan entertainments in the recreation rooms. In addition, there are three movie theaters running two shows a day.
Fayetteville is a comparatively small city and this sudden addition of 65,000 men certainly has strained every facility they have. The officers at the post, however, say that everyone in the city has cooperated marvelously and the efforts they have made to provide living quarters for the families of the non-commissioned officers, as well as for the officers' families, while keeping the rents at a reasonable level, are very much appreciated.
On the whole, the health of the boys seems to be about normal. When they were living in tents it was a trifle better than when they moved into barracks, but that is almost always true.
We drove slowly, watching them perform their usual tasks. I could not help being impressed by "young America."