Life in Washington D.C. during the war

Attitudes during the war

Archbishop Hannan


The Capitol Dome going black for the first night of the war...


Corrine Boggs, also known as Lindy, was in Washington DC on 7 December 1941 [Annotator's Note: the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor]. There was a peace mission between the United States and Japanese at the time. She had a feeling that the Japanese had something up their sleeve. She was friendly with the Japanese ambassador and his wife. She also had a lot of Japanese friends in Louisiana. Boggs cannot explain it but she had a feeling that the peace negotiations were not on the level. On 7 December, Boggs had all of her kids wrapped up and bundled to battle the cold Washington DC winter. Boggs received a call from Paul Wooten who was the Times Picayune [Annotator's Note: a local newspaper in New Orleans, Louisiana] correspondent there. He told Boggs to turn on the radio because the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. She turned the radio on in her car and decided to drive down Embassy Row in Washington. She drove past the Japanese embassy and could tell that they were burning papers. Finally they got down to near the Capitol building. She would always go there and pick up her husband Hale [Annotator's Note: Hale Boggs was an American Democratic politician and member of the U.S. House of Representatives]. One of Boggs' favorite things to do was to drive at night and see the Capitol Dome lit up. She got there just in time to see the lights go off. There was some doubt in her mind that they had attacked Pearl Harbor, however, when she saw the Capitol Dome blacked out she knew it was for real. Hale Boggs was very amazed at the situation. He believed that Lindy was acting very cautious. It was a very sad day for Hale Boggs. In Congress there was a strict social schedule in terms of calling the Supreme Court, the Cabinet or the House. However, after Pearl Harbor, all of the protocols went out the window. Life in the nation's capitol was very strict during the war. There was tremendous toning down of all social activities. The sessions in Congress were long and hard and went late into the night. Boggs notes how bad the rationing of shoes was. A lot of the news that she was privy to was classified.


[Annotator's Note: Corrine Boggs, also known as Lindy, was the wife of Congressman Hale Boggs then later took his congressional seat when Hale ws killed in a plane crash.] During the beginning of the war, when the war was not going well for the United States, the attitude was very subdued on Capitol Hill. A lot of the social activity at the beginning was restricted. There was fear of an attack on Washington DC. Every single night Washington DC was blacked out. It was hard for Boggs to judge the attitude of people during the war because they were not able to entertain as much. Boggs rode around on VJ-Day and saw all of the excitement that was enveloping the nation's capitol. The next night the Capitol Dome lit back up again. Boggs remembers working with the congressional and military wives. They were able to have programs at the congressional club. Boggs is not sure whether the war was a detour in her and her husband's career or whether it pushed her career forward. Boggs was able to understand what everyone was going through. She believes strongly in The National WWII Museum. She feels as if there is nothing elsewhere that can compare because The National WWII Museum is the only place specifically dedicated to all the efforts of World War 2. She also believes it is important because it connects young people to the war and allows them to learn from it.


As a result of the war a few items from the Vatican were kept in the National Archives. Corrine Boggs was able to keep up with the people who had lent it and when she became the US ambassador to the Vatican she got to finally meet all of the people she had worked with. Boggs and Archbishop Philip Hannan were great friends. Hannan had a lot of political and religious connections in Washington DC. Boggs is extraordinarily proud of what the museum [Annotator's Note: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana] has done and accomplished. Boggs was interviewed by Hannan the Tuesday before the interview was done. Her nickname for Hannan is the Flying Padre. Boggs has known him forever. The interviewer comments that Hannan visited him at his elementary school in New Orleans. Boggs had a lot of fun with Hannan during the interview. Her staff adored and enjoyed him when they met for the interview. Boggs had an enjoyable social time with Hannan. Bogg's name is originally Coreen, her father's name was Rolinde. A nurse thought that she looked like her father so she called her Rolinde. They dropped the Ro and she was called Lindy. Boggs was the thirteenth child in her family. She recalls reading a comic strip when she was younger. [Annotator's Note: A third unidentified person comes into the interview.] The third person mentions a story she heard through the grapevine about German experimentation although some is inaudible. Some of the evidence from the story came from a LSUNO professor. The third person mentions a story about someone she knew who had a World War 2 story. Boggs is extremely proud of The National WWII Museum and what it has accomplished. She understands that children need to remain welcome at museums. The interviewer notes that he interviewed a bunch of Midway survivors and compiled a documentary on them, his point is that these men came and saw the museum and were amazed by it.


Corrine Boggs notes that it is good that the museum [Annotator's Note: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana] is able to come back after Katrina [Annotator's Note: Hurricane Katrina in August 2005]. The interviewer then relates his Katrina experience in relation to the museum. Boggs mentions a street approach to the museum that is going to connect to the Crescent City Connection. She asks the interviewer when it is going to be complete. The interviewer does not know the answer. The interviewer describes where he lives in Metairie. The interviewer notes that he went on his honeymoon to Normandy, and that he recently just got back from Europe on behalf of the museum. Boggs notes that she has visited St. Louis Cathedral before and one of her favorite things to do is watch the sunset lay its rays on the glass at the church.

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