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To Colonel Milton G. Baker1
October 8, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Colonel Baker:
I have just had time to read over your note of October 4th, inviting me to make an address at the Armistice Day service at the Valley Forge Military Academy on November 10th at 2:30 in the afternoon.
In view of my inability to accept your invitation last June, I would like to accommodate you on this occasion.2 My doubts in the matter are these: If a great deal of publicity is going to be given to what I say, then I have to make very careful preparation and I literally have not time for such, and I am unwilling to farm it out as is so often done in the political field. If I am merely talking to your young men and guests, that is something quite different, though I suppose even then I will be involved in the presence of reporters.
Will you write me quite frankly regarding this before I make a final decision.3 I should say that I have declined practically every invitation, and have had to cancel most of my inspections recently because of the uncertainty of developments here, and the tremendous mass of important business that has to be met daily.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Baker, a colonel in the Pennsylvania National Guard, was superintendent of Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
2. Marshall had declined Colonel Baker’s invitation to deliver the academy’s baccalaureate address on June 2, 1940, because of prior engagements. (Marshall to Baker, March 28, 1940, GCMRL/ G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
3. In his October 4 invitation to Marshall, Baker had written that the address would be broadcast over a national hookup of the Mutual Broadcasting System. On October 10, however, Baker replied that Marshall’s address would be unreported and unpublicized. The audience would be restricted to the Corps of Cadets and their guests and the radio broadcast would be cancelled. (Baker to Marshall, October 4 and 10, 1940, ibid.) Marshall accepted the invitation. See Marshall to Baker, November 13, 1940, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-303 [2: 349-50].
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 326-327.