The Presidential train raced south through the rich red -amp; green foothills of Virginia. Inside, President Roosevelt made the last few changes in the speech of a day that sped into history. One hour before his train left Washington, Benito Mussolini declared war on Great Britain and France.

A light rain began as the train neared Charlottesville. The President relaxed; grave and pale when he entered the train, the decision that he had made seemed to strengthen him. It had been a week of swift decision: he announced the release by executive order of Navy planes which, to be resold...

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