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To Mrs. John J. Singer
December 30, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
I received your note of welcome home and saw a letter from you to Katherine. I am glad you are well but sorry you have had a little trouble in your household staff. However, my sympathies are with the girl.
I had a rather strenuous trip considering the fact that flying tends to be monotonous, particularly on long flights and that once one reaches the ground the pressure is extreme to do a great deal in a short time. On top of all this the return to Washington means a heavy overburden of accumulated work. I am pretty well by that now and looking forward to seizing a chance to get a little rest. Just when and where has to be determined.
I did not see either of the boys abroad though I went through the same town in which Clifton is located but was only there for thirty minutes between battleship and plane, and heavily involved in secrecy requirements as to the President.
I had a delightful day at Luxor doing the Tombs and the Temple of Karnak by moonlight, then flew directly from there across to Arabia, to the Persian Gulf and then on to Karachi. My stay in Ceylon was brief but delightful though I did little outside of the Governor’s House. However, he was luxuriously established and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest, the fruit and the food generally.
There were no luxuries in western Australia, New Guinea and the Solomons or the New Hebrides. Not until I reached Fiji could I relax comfortably.
My day in Los Angeles was exceedingly busy, in fact, rather strenuous. I lunched with the moving picture heads and directors—no actors—to talk business with them,1 and spent all afternoon going through aviation plants there and at Long Beach. That night I dined with Douglas, Kindelberger and the other great aviation manufacturers. The weather stopped me from leaving at 10:00 o’clock for Washington, so Louis Mayer2 arranged a 10:00 o’clock party for me of about 100 people, including my dinner guests, the plane manufacturers, with a private performance—not movies—by some of his select people. It involved beautiful singing, some clever acting and some riotously amusing skits. My supper companions were little Margaret O’Brien on one side and Greer Garson on the other.
I left Los Angeles early in the morning and flew straight through to Washington, arriving here at 10:00 o’clock the night of the 22nd. Katherine met me and we went to Leesburg the afternoon of the 24th, returning Sunday night the 26th. Molly returned from Arkansas with Jim on the 23rd and spent Christmas with us. She brought Jim up on the 27th to catch a train and she and Katherine went back to Leesburg. I hope to join them tomorrow night, the 31st.
With my love,
P.S. Give my affectionate regards to the Bovards and to Till.
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. Marshall’s remarks at this affair “concerning the future trend of motion picture production” inspired Darryl F. Zanuck, of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios, to write: “Your remarks on post-war picture production are the only encouraging words I have heard from anyone in an official capacity, either in or outside the motion picture industry or the War Department. I have devoted my time exclusively, for the past six months, to the production of post-war films; but with the exception of Walter Wanger on the civilian side, and Frank Capra on the military side, there is nothing constructive being done, and I am hopeful that your words will awaken interest.” He said that he and Wanger, a producer at Universal Studios and president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, were going to meet “to discuss the picture problem dealing with soldiers when they return to civilian life, the problem you suggested.” (Zanuck to Marshall, December 22, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. Mayer was head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM).
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. 226-227.