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To Major General Campbell King
December 29, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
I saw a note from Harriott to Katherine, on a Christmas card, on my return from abroad. Apparently you are both well and delighted with the new grandchildren. Under the circumstances, I imagine you had a cheerful Christmas.
I had Christmas dinner with Katherine, Molly, Jim Winn and the children, and Allene—Mrs. Marshall’s sister—at Leesburg where Katherine still is.
This business of travelling-35,000 miles this time—is hard enough, together with the terrific pressure once you land at a place, but becomes even worse on the return to Washington where, instead of a rest, one must meet the accumulated business that has piled up during one’s absence. However, I never felt better in my life so I have no cause to complain.
The railroads capitulated yesterday but we did not accept their surrender until this morning.1
My love to you both,
P.S. On reading this it occurred to me that, considering how busy I am, you are a hell of a correspondent!
G. C. M.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Three railroad workers’ unions had decided to strike for higher wages. To prevent this, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9412 authorizing the army to assume possession and control of the railroads as of 7:00 P.M. December 27. By the next morning, it appeared to Stimson that the unions involved were willing to call off their strike scheduled for December 29, but the secretary sought to delay announcing a settlement until the “moral effect” of the president’s and the army’s actions could be emphasized in his radio address on the evening of December 28 and by the news media. Marshall’s confidence of the unions’ surrender was premature, however, as the labor organizations announced on December 30 that, unless there was an acceptable wage settlement, the strike had merely been postponed. (December 23-31,1943, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 45: 140-41, 147-73; quote on p. 155].) For more on the strike problem, see Marshall Memorandum for Justice Byrnes, January 5,1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-200 [4: 234-35].
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 213-214.