My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LOS ANGELES, Tuesday—We left last night with the usual rush of last minute things which must be done. Three of us had supper in my sitting room before we left. With us were Jimmy, Elliott and two friends with whom Elliott had flown from the school in San Antonio, Texas. One of the younger men was head of the school and had come to Washington to attend a conference. The other two had just finished their course.

After flying all summer over the uncharted northern places in which we now have an interest, and after taking these present courses, in aerial navigation, gunnery, etc., Elliott will be much better trained. It looks as though we shall need all the trained people we can get.

Our trip was smooth, except for one perfectly tremendous bump, which came just as some passengers were having dinner. Most of them found themselves with food and drink spilled all over them. Luckily we had eaten before boarding the plane, and so we only hit the ceiling and sat down again, surrounded by papers and books in various odd places. It took a little longer to tidy up the rest of the pasengers, than for us to retrieve our belongings.

Just before we reached Nashville, Tenn., word came to us that San Francisco was being bombed. We awakened Director LaGuardia and he decided at once we must make arrangements to proceed as quickly as possible to San Francisco.

At Nashville, I telegraphed and discovered San Francisco had not been bombed, but that a blackout had been ordered up and down all the coast, because enemy planes had been heard from the army posts. All of us went to bed feeling happier than no real harm had come to one of our cities.

I like to get up with the dawn on this flight and watch the colors in the sky and the wonderful play of sun and shadow on the mountains. Before we reached Phoenix, I had my first cup of coffee and enjoyed the view of the country.

We thought for a while that we would have to land in Palm Springs, which is a three hour drive to Los Angeles. However, the weather cleared and we were able to land in Burbank on schedule. Director LaGuardia and I may separate in Los Angeles. He will go to San Francisco, while I think it may be wise for me to go to San Diego first.

I shall use my column as far as possible to tell you what we plan to do in civilian defense in this area, for I think it may be useful to everyone. There is one thing which every woman can do to prepare her house for blackouts. Namely, arrange with black cloth, or heavy curtains, or even a rug, so that light will not show through a window, to make a room livable in a blackout. Preferably, it should be the kitchen, so that food can be cooked.

PNews, LBI, 12 December 1941