I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago. This is the final entry in my grandfather’s (Colonel Walter L. Mitchell, Sr., USA) diary.
It was dated April 29, 1933 (Saturday) and was a summary of the family’s activities over the previous year. Most telling are his comments concerning the state of the nation.
On March 4 (1932), as is already know we had our new President, F. D. Roosevelt, assume office. I wonder just what he is going to accomplish. He most surely has many hard nuts to crack and problems to solve. I am afraid we are headed from some very serious internal as well as external trouble. Would not dare to hazard a guess as to what is going to happen. Many people out of work. No business. Little money. Stocks failing. International squabbles. Disarmament. Arming of some nations. The aggression of Japan into China’s provinces, all tend to bewilder and no logical line of reasoning can be had.
We (of the Army) are faced (so says rumor) with a probability of having some 2000 officers “furloughed”. This is a new wrinkle and comes at a very inopportune time. The plan, according to rumor, is that the 2000 would be furloughed at ½ pay. The government does not to retire them on ¾, it wants to save ltn (not sure what he meant here) ¼ in their pay and yet have them available when needed. Not much of a reward for 20 years in the Army, if I should be one of them.
We have already had our pay cut to where I am getting $82.00 less a month than I should (at this point, my grandfather had been in the army 15 years and was a Captain in the Infantry).
I have always found what my grandfather wrote concerning the state of the nation on the occasion of Roosevelt’s inauguration very interesting. Our studies of history tell us about the international troubles but we tend to gloss over the problems within our own country.