FEBRUARY 17, 1943
COLUMBIA, Mo., Tuesday—Various delays this morning gave us time for a very comfortable breakfast with Colonel and Mrs. Hoag. I have always had a great admiration for Army wives, but it was enhanced by Mrs. Hoag's philosophical attitude toward the present situation. They left Puerto Rico in June and are still without most of their furniture. Nevertheless, she seems to have enough to make everyone comfortable and she told me that she rather liked living with fewer belongings since the house was less care. Wartime conditions would be easier for everyone if they would face them with this same spirit.
A little before 10:00 o'clock we left the field in Des Moines and were in Kansas City, Kansas, at about 11:00 a.m. There the Army is using the Midland Radio and Television School to train men and women, first as radio operators and receivers, and second, as radio mechanics. All those who are there have had their basic training.
As far as I could find out, the men and women are fairly equal in their achievements. Some of the men never touched a typewriter before and, therefore, take a little longer to learn the typing out of code messages. Some of the women have never used tools before and are a little slower in acquiring mechanical skills. A healthy rivalry however, seems to exist and I rather imagine that all the students do their work better because they are there together.
The Army has taken over considerable hotel space and we went over the arrangements, which in many ways are similar to those in Miami. Rooms in the past may have held one guest, they now hold three or four cots, sometimes the double-decker variety used in barracks. On the whole, I think this is an easier life to adjust to than the complete Army routine of the barracks.
We reached Columbia, Mo., on time and a group of students met us at the airport. I had a press conference, went over the plans for the afternoon, saw Mrs. Middlebush, the wife of the President of Missouri University, inspected the cadets of the Navy Training School and spoke to them a few minutes in the evening.
In the afternoon I spoke to the student body, had dinner with them, visited Teen Town; a recreational center created for the use of young teenage people after school hours. It is the first one I have ever seen and I think it a very interesting idea. I met for a time in the evening with student leaders and attended a short reception, and "so to bed," as Mr. Pepys would say.