Sunday, January 1: New Year's Day was a quiet one. [Mostly] we were left pretty much to ourselves.
Monday, January 2: We drove back to Washington without incident. The roads were in fairly good condition and we managed to make it to the apartment by about 4 o'clock.
Tuesday, January 3: This is the first working day of the new year. Before going on with this chronicle, I think I want to say a few things about the events of the past few weeks. Never in my life have I seemed so frustrated in attempting an important job to bring to a conclusion. We have been in a state of suspended animation since the election. To my surprise, not one single word or hint of action has been forthcoming from the Kennedy administration. I have tried to put my house in order and to prepare materials for the new administrator whenever he may be appointed. It does seem strange that no action has been taken. After all, we are a large agency - the seventh largest in government in point of budget, and we are spending more than $4 million a working day at the present time. During the course of the holidays, and probably following my resignation, Congressman Thomas wrote to Kennedy strongly recommending the appointment of Hugh Dryden as administrator. Hugh learned from Thomas's assistant that Kennedy had responded, thanking him for the letter and recommendation, saying that he was leaving the space business entirely to Lyndon Johnson. All we know is that Lyndon has been designated by Kennedy to chair the Space Council. It is to be remembered that we have recommended the Space Council be abolished and that, in fact, it has not met for one year. Actually, the law would have to be changed if Lyndon were to be chairman of the council. As it presently reads, the president is chairman and the attorney general ruled last year that we could not have a regular meeting of the Space Council unless the president were in the chair.
It has been most interesting to note the manner in which this transition is taking place. The entire operation of government seems to slow down as the new cabinet appointees - good ones for the most part - attempt to put together their organizations. With a governmental operation totaling more than $80 billion a year and employing approximately 5 million people including the armed services, it would seem that there ought to be some regularized procedure for the transfer of powers. Naturally, as the population grows our involvements increase in world affairs and the problem becomes continuously more difficult.
 Now I will get on with the chronicle. At 9 o'clock, several of our people came in to talk about the establishment of the theoretical division at some site near Columbia University in New York. I have approved this in principle and am now awaiting budgetary and logistic proposals. It seems a good idea to have this group, which is largely academic in character, associated with an academic community. At 9:45, Dryden and I visited Kistiakowsky to attempt to get a change made in the budget message of the president, which is to be delivered on 18 January. Apparently, following the National Security Council meeting on the 20th, a statement was prepared for inclusion in the message that would, in my opinion, be unwise. The president proposes to say that there is no scientific or defense need for man in space beyond Mercury. It is much better, if I am any judge of the political realities of the situation, to say that we need much more research and development before a definite decision can be made in this matter. Actually, such a statement would be in complete agreement with the facts as they will be presented in the budget message. After much telephoning, we were able to get this statement changed.
Lunch with Dryden gave Bob Seamans and me, who have both been out of the city, an opportunity to catch up on the events of the past week. At 2:30, Courtney Sheldon of the Christian Science Monitor came in for an interview. He has been a good friend and has reported honestly on our activities. At 3 o'clock, the Rand Corporation made a presentation on the nuclear rocket and the Rover program. John McCone, Bob Wilson and one other commissioner were present. It was a discouraging presentation although I think it quite factual. John McCone came to my office after the presentation saying that he was discouraged by the whole matter and suggesting that the AEC be allowed to proceed with the development of the reactor while NASA dropped out of the picture until the reactor was completed. I questioned this as a procedure. At 4:30, I visited Eugene Zuckert, the new secretary of the Air Force, to talk with him briefly about our relationships with that organization in the space business. Gene and I served on the Atomic Energy Commission together. He is an able fellow although I questioned this appointment as being the best that could have been arranged.
Wednesday, January 4: During the morning we had a project status review that went off in fairly good order. Some troubles have appeared in the program but generally speaking, we are in good shape and I was able to approve the new launch schedule without argument. In the afternoon, Frank Pace came in. He is the chairman of the board of General Dynamics. He talked with me for about an hour, stating that he and Earl Johnson, president of General Dynamics, wanted me to have some association, as yet undefined, with the company. Frank seems to believe that industry has a very large social responsibility that it is not discharging, and he wants to undertake some activities in the educational field. He asked that I be receptive to a proposal that he wanted to discuss with me when I come back from my vacation. I suppose that this would take the form of a consultant arrangement or a directorship. I doubt that I can do anything about it. On this same day, Jim  Hagerty, who is to be vice president of ABC, asked me to consider a position as a consultant with that television organization. He said it would be very lucrative and that he would want me to be helpful on matters of science and space. I said that I doubted that I could be involved but agreed to talk with him at some later date. On this same day, Earl Blaik of AVCO wrote to me and suggested that I was to be considered for a directorship in one of the large Cleveland companies. My goodness, plums are falling from all the trees and I am quite sure that I cannot avail myself of any of them.
Thursday, January 5: We had a short staff meeting this morning and went right in to the meeting of the space exploration program council.1 The full day was given over to a discussion of the manned flight program beyond Project Mercury. The space task group and the Marshall Space Flight Center presented alternative programs. They have no hesitancy in their planning - all they need is a vast deal of money. I suppose one has to accept that sort of philosophy but, by George, it is a little difficult for me to be very enthusiastic about it when I know that these men know how very difficult the problems are that must be solved before anything of this kind can be undertaken. It is not in consonance with our budgetary program for fiscal year 1962, yet Congress will be beating us about the ears if we do not have a long range goal of landing a man on the moon. Government has its problems.
In the afternoon, Rich came in with [Arthur Plumb] Clow of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company to pick up my White House telephone, which they are going to present to me as a memento of my stay in Washington. This particular phone is connected directly with the White House and I have used it very heavily. We had dinner with Bob Wilson of the AEC and his wife. It was a pleasant occasion and we left immediately after dinner. This made it all the better.
Friday, January 6: We started out the day with a meeting on the Project Mercury information plan. We are trying desperately to avoid a "circus" atmosphere in connection with the first manned flights. It is clear that we must take good care of the press and give them every opportunity to have access to the facts. This will mean camera crews and reporters on the recovery ships, picture taking at the time when the astronaut enters the capsule and remote pictures of the launch. I hope we are successful. The space exploration program council continued today. It was discussing operating problems and I think a great deal of progress was made. I was called out of the meeting by John McCone, who wanted to propose that the reactor part of Rover be approved and handled entirely by AEC without interference from NASA. This is such a drastic step that I was a bit upset. During the course of the  day, I talked with others of our staff and we finally decided to take it to Stans of the Bureau of the Budget and try to get some resolution of this problem before we leave Washington.
At noon I had lunch with the top brass of the Navy to talk over some of their plans for entry into the space business. They cannot be left out of it so long as the Air Force is taking a leading role. I think I was able to give them some sound advice - at least they said so. I had dinner with Secretary Jim Douglas at the Pentagon. He was entertaining in honor of Sir George Thomson of Cambridge University [Nobel Prize winner in physics]. It was a pleasant evening although we all had a little bit more to drink than was necessary. These dinners with several kinds of wine become rather heavy during the course of the night.
Saturday, January 7: We spent a full half day at the office reviewing the program of the research centers and of the life science center. The people who took part in the discussion of the manned space flight program beyond Mercury should have been here to hear the discussion of research that must be undertaken before we can embark sensibly on such a program. I took Ruth out to dinner after a long walk and we retired early. Lots of letters are coming in expressing regret at my leaving the NASA post. It is nice to have these and I think most of them are reasonably genuine.
Sunday, January 8: A quiet day without too much work. We had a long walk and then the Harknesses came in for dinner. It was a pleasant affair although Ruth was a little bit up against it for food. We thought we had two pheasants in the ice box but it turned out that we had three quail, one duck and one pheasant. She managed a delicious dinner and the evening was very worthwhile.
Monday, January 9: This was a relatively uneventful day. Some few days ago, Jim Killian had called to ask me about future commitments - how long and in what manner had I tied myself for the future. My answer, of course, was that I had undertaken the return to Case in good faith - that I had committed myself for no particular length of time, though one did not undertake a job like this for a few months. He could not tell me of his interest but said I might hear from a friend soon. Today, I was visited by that friend who asked me to consider heading his operation. Suffice it to say that I repeated my comments about commitments but agreed to consider the pros and cons of a future association. In all good conscience, it appears to me - I have not discussed this with the trustees - that John Hrones deserves a term at the top job while he is still young and vigorous. If he acquires the right kind of support and a leavening of his drive, I think he could be terrific as a leader, knowledgeable and respected for his integrity, imagination and concern for the highest standards of quality.2 After I return from the trip, I may discuss further the matter to which my friend referred.
 After lunch, we reviewed the so-called Stever report, which suggested names for the directorship of Lewis Research Center. Not too much imagination was shown in this listing. Later in the day, Mr. Patterson of General Dynamics came in to talk about long range planning for that company. I discussed this matter in the context of NASA as an R&D outfit with limited production requirements. Surely, [there will be some in] the meteorological [field]; communications and navigation satellites will be made in multiple copies and the military devices in reconnaissance and early warning will be similar; but the bulk of NASA's expenditures will be for R&D only. Therein lies the secret of future success in this business, in my opinion. Concentrate in a few areas rather than spread across the board!
In spite of admonitions to the contrary, I called Lyndon Johnson today to say that I felt a heavy responsibility in the matter of turning over my job to my successor - that I was prepared to help in any way desired; that we had prepared much information in the form of reports and briefings but that discussion was desirable; that I knew he was having trouble securing a man; what could I do [to help]? This, mind you, is the first contact with the new administration; and [it was] initiated by me. Lyndon was lavish in praise of my attitude and then said, "As soon as I have something to tell you or discuss with you, I will call you!" Transition!! No word from the Kennedy administration!
Tuesday, January 10: The morning started with General White at the Pentagon. Hugh Dryden and I took over the revised copy of the statement he proposed to make to his senior commanders' conference and to publish in the monthly policy newsletter of the Air Force. The meeting went well, with Tommy offering to say anything we wanted to have said. He is a fine person, dedicated to the development of the Air Force but cognizant of problems such as the one that has been plaguing us both in the newspapers and other media.
The rest of the day was taken up with normal business. George Low came in to talk of Mercury and the delay in launch to 31 January.3 Then came the evening with the Hoover Medal Award Dinner at the Statler where we were the guests of Walker Cisler [president of the Detroit Edison Company]. A small party preceded it - cocktails, etc. - and we found ourselves in pleasant company. Ike got the medal after a statistically-loquacious ex-historian of the Army gave what turned out to be an interesting story of the engineering achievements of Ike's forces in Europe after D-Day in 1944. Ike was very good - informal but pertinent in his remarks - bringing in enough of the human interest stories to keep the engineering societies a bit humble. It was this group that gave the medal, of course. No news from the Kennedy administration!
 Wednesday, January 11: Off to Langley early by Convair 250 to open a press briefing on Mercury. This is part of our new policy of exposition in the hopes that greater understanding on the part of the newsmen - and thus, of the public - will result. It went quite well with a good attendance. Back to Washington by noon - lunch at the White House mess where surprise was expressed over the ignoring of NASA in the appointments lists. The AEC is in the same boat as well as the FAA. At 2:30 with Hugh and George Kistiakowsky we met with Elmer Staats and Willis Shapley. I was concerned with our inability to agree with the AEC - particularly with John McCone - on contracting matters in connection with Project Rover. Why he is so difficult - and I swear, in this case, it is he and not I or NASA - I will never fully understand. Surely, the J[oint] C[ommittee on] A[tomic] E[nergy] is in the picture and I suspect John has sold a portion of his soul to Clinton Anderson. Probably the management, at a distance, of Los Alamos with its traditions of independence and its access, wittingly or unwittingly, to the JCAE staff and members, gives him troubles. But where are the business ethics and the organizational integrity of the AEC these days? It takes months to get a decision, and then it doesn't stick!
The discussion with the BOB people resulted in an agreement that no solution could be expected in the few days remaining. My memo to my successor calls Rover a continuing and expensive problem on which decisions will need to be made. The pressures of the JCAE and of our own staff will bring action before too long. Both John McCone and I will be gone; his staff will agree with ours for the most part, and the matter will be resolved, I hope. Back to the office to meet with Jim Fisk of B[ell] T[elephone] L[aboratories]. I had Hugh in to listen to the discussion of ground stations. Jim said AT&T would provide, at its expense, the U.S. ground terminal equipment and make available time - either under contract or at no cost - for experimental work by NASA.4 As to the European terminal, he gave assurance that AT&T preferred to work this out and was certain it would be able to provide the European terminal [either] on its own or by agreement. This is exactly what I would like to see. Recently, IT&T has made similar noises. I have stated that we should accept both - the more the merrier. The real point is that the "carriers" ought to provide and operate the ground terminal equipment so as to gain pertinent operating experience.
Later in the day, I spoke to Abe Silverstein, assuring him about the terminal facilities. His people, and even Abe, worry about this in a genuine belief that we should control and handle this sort of operation in the early stages and that competition will be lessened if AT&T is allowed to supply and operate these stations. There is validity in their concern but, practically speaking, why do things the hard way? Surely, we will not soon see a new AT&T or IT&T in the long  distance communications business. Then came Jim McDonnell [of McDonnell Aircraft] to say goodbye - and, just incidentally of course, to ask whether or not Mac's Mercury business will prevent it from winning other contracts. The answer was an emphatic no - the question, obviously, was directed at the forthcoming award of Surveyor for which Mac is one of four finalists.5 No word from the Kennedy administration!
Thursday, January 12: The meeting with the staff was brief. I took the floor with a strong statement on the necessity for pounding away at keeping the dates for launches once they are set following designation of a contractor and subsequent negotiations as to price and schedule. The usual objections by Abe Silverstein and others gained from me a certain sympathy but a reminder that spending $1 billion or more per year promised the prospect of searching investigations; moreover, we had to be aware of the need for integrity, even in R&D. It is probable that we are seeking out the last two or three percent of assurance when sound judgment may suggest this as having little to do with the success of the flight. Such considerations are not new in R&D although it is clear that the dollars involved give them new importance. Perhaps I made some impression - at least I have beat upon this drum continuously for the past several weeks. It is probable that time is lost in the early weeks of each project, time that can never be regained. Delays in decision-making at this point always seem less important but really give the most serious trouble later on.
At 10:00, we met with Abe Hyatt, director of program planning and evaluation, and the senior staff to discuss the handling of the NASA study program in the future. We are committing as much as $20 million a year for a variety of studies in all fields. [Since the program is] uncoordinated at the moment, it is just good sense to pull together all of this activity. Some controls must be exerted and I believe Hyatt will do this. Coordination with the Air Force advanced study program will be accomplished by direct relationship between Hyatt and USAF planners. This meeting went well with still another demonstration of the increasing maturity of the organization and the development of mutual confidence among staff members. Lunch - a final one - with Rawson Bennett at Jack Hunt's was pleasant. Rawson does not yet know where he will go when he retires on 1 February but seems unconcerned.
At 1:30, more discussions of the communications satellite program. We have reached the point of proceeding with the request for bids for the satellite itself.6  Competition is the watchword, and once again, patiently, I went over my strong beliefs in this matter. Jaffe and Silverstein seem determined that anything short of having someone other than AT&T win the competition will be tantamount to following a "chosen instrument" policy. Pointing out that any company might choose to bid $0 or $1 million [and that under those circumstances] a ceiling with the company bearing costs over the $1 million seemed to me well within competitive rules unless otherwise specified in the request for proposals, I gained agreement that we would have to consider such proposals as fair - so long, of course, as the subject company provided a fully documented cost estimate for the total job, etc. Then we moved to the matter of ground stations. Agreement on the U.S. station being supplied at no cost or on a participating basis by one or more companies was easy. On the foreign station the usual desire for control was expressed. Finally, I agreed to a joint exploration with industrial participation believing that nothing was to be lost by such a procedure, with the probability that the industrial organizations would demonstrate their abilities to do the foreign job as well as and probably better than we could. My real interest here is to have the ground terminals built by operating companies who themselves will generate the traffic. Thus they will gain valuable operating experience while reserving all necessary time for experimentation by our people.7 Finally, I approved the preliminary development plan and effectively, I guess, washed my hands of the program since nothing will happen before I depart.
At 4:00 o'clock, Walter Burke of McDonnell came in to say nice words and bid me goodbye. Then at 5:00, John Finney came in for an hour's talk - the first such meeting with him since our bout on "Meet the Press." Asking many of the usual questions, he then concentrated on what advice, if any, I might have for my successor. Before answering that question, I asked why the press corps was so quiet about Kennedy's failure to move ahead on the appointment of my successor. It had not spared the outgoing administration in any way but seemed content to see NASA become an orphan on 20 January. No comment from Finney! Going back to his question, I pointed out the Rover, manned space flight, and very large rocket projects as real headaches for the future. Each involves long term commitments of billions of dollars. None will come to fruition short of ten years, and thus they will lose their luster as elements in the cold war. All are concerned with manned flight about which we know so little with certainty. My own program, as set out in the FY 1962 budget, delays these decisions until more definite information can be acquired by smaller, unmanned satellites. To my surprise - maybe it was a typical newsman's gambit - John seemed to be of the opinion that a constantly increasing rate of expenditures would not be palatable to the public. I pointed out that the program we had underway could fit a budget of $1 to $2 billion with little strain - that less than $1 billion would seriously cripple the scientific effort since costs of $500 millions are now and, for the next few years, will be required annually for large rocket development. Further, the development of simulators for ground environmental  tests and the problems of gaining reliability without large numbers of launches would be with us for a long and expensive period. A better than average discussion with a reporter! Home and a bit of packing as we plan for a trip to Chicago on the morrow! No word from the Kennedy administration!
Friday, January 13: The last flight in the NASA Convair will take us to Chicago, Cleveland and back to Washington. It is good that we are not superstitious about dates! We took off at 7:00 with Dick Mittauer as a passenger and with breakfast served pleasantly. No incidents marred the flight and we were met by the director of the Museum of Science and Industry (formerly the Rosenwald Museum) where I was to participate in the opening of a NASA exhibit, attend a luncheon and make a speech. A press conference was thrown in, which took more than an hour including much picture taking, television taping, etc. Attempts to get me to discuss the Wiesner report met with complete failure, which reminds me that I have not commented on said report - so here goes! After this long and masterful silence, Johnson and Kennedy released the so-called Wiesner report. He was the chairman of a committee that included Ed Purcell, Ed Land, Bruno Rossi, Don Hornig and several other scientists.8 Of the membership, only Land has had any administrative experience or operating responsibility. The report seemed to be a series of contradictions - we are ahead of the USSR in space science by a significant margin, but we must go faster; we have a sound program, but we must do more; and above all, we need more imaginative, technically competent management. Spelling out a rough organizational plan that was almost completely a duplicate of the pattern we are following, the report listed the administrator, deputy administrator and the directors of space science, propulsion, etc., as the positions requiring technically competent leadership. What a slap in the face at the people on whom they must rely for leadership in the future - for I doubt that they can find better people who will combine knowledge, ability, and the willingness to work in government. My own situation has no importance here. To a considerable extent, they may be right about the administrator - but I won't be here anyway.
Back to the day in Chicago. The press conference was not too bad and the luncheon went pretty well. Kitty and Frank attended with Ruth. After lunch we departed for the apartment and Frank took me down to the University Club to see John MacLean [president of MacLean-Fogg] - a pleasant hour. Then a drink and  some of the best sukiyaki I have tasted was prepared and served by Kitty and Frank. Time was running out as we started for the airport. Looking for the Convair took some time but we reached Cleveland about 10 p.m. to find a NASA car waiting to take us home. No word from the Kennedy administration!
Saturday, January 14: Sally had been staying at Helen Hamilton's until our arrival last night. On coming home, she seemed a bit flushed and felt a bit indisposed. She was no better this morning. From nine until after one, we (the top staff at Case) were steeped in a discussion and rehearsal for the trustees' meeting, which will be held on Monday, 23 January. Dr. Spitler had diagnosed Sally's indisposition as a "strep" throat and had given her a penicillin shot, so we took her, however reluctantly, back to the dormitory infirmary. Boarding the plane at 3:30, we arrived in Washington at 5:15. Cocktails at [Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering] John Rubel's in honor of the Yorks preceded a dinner with Dick and Daz Harkness. Dick, as I have probably said earlier, is the top TV newsman on the Washington scene for NBC. This seemed to be an annual party having association with the political scene. Among the guests were Marquis Childs, Walter Lippman, Milo Perkins, Senator Albert Gore, Senator Mike Monroney, Supreme Court Justice Bill Brennan, ex-Governor Leroy Collins [of Florida], Bill Foster [of Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation?] and a few others - all with wives. Good chatter throughout the evening revealed Albert Gore as a keen analyst of the political scene. Mike Monroney asserted that FDR's New Deal had failed to quicken the economy although it had halted the panic and kept people from starving. Only as the war brought new requirements did the upturn really come. What an admission from a leading Democrat! And Milo Perkins, an early and ardent New Dealer agreed! The evening wound up with the opening of predictions made by most members of the group four years earlier as to the complexion of the political slates and the winning side in the 1960 presidential race. Most of those present were Democrats, so it was not surprising that predictions were fairly good though Stevenson had been a leading contender. Nixon had been the almost unanimous choice for the Republican nomination, and two or three had predicted his election. Choices for the slates in 1964 had Kennedy unanimously but only one or two listed Johnson as vice-presidential candidate. I proposed a Kennedy-Kennedy slate as the solution. Nixon, Rockefeller and "dark horses" dominated the choices for Republican candidates with only two predictions of a Republican victory in 1964. And so to bed - with no word yet from the Kennedy administration!
Sunday, January 15: Plans for the day called for packing, writing, packing, etc. But - early on this grey and somewhat moist day, a call from Dr. Spitler revealed that Sally was worse - might have the measles or scarlet fever - and was to be taken immediately to the hospital. Well-l-l! Plans immediately were made for Ruth to return to Cleveland at 4:45 p.m. Flights were in danger of being canceled since the weather was worsening. I decided to call the Convair 250 up and did so. Then - called Dr. Spitler who said Sally would stay at the dormitory until Ruth came home. Finally, the Convair was reported as leaving Norfolk so we  started for the airport. Delay followed delay and the fog was closing in. The Convair finally came in at 4 p.m. and Ruth got off. Back home and some packing but not too much. Ruth reported in and Sally was home at last. At 8:00, the Adams clan - Don, Eleanor, the children, Buck and Dorothy came in for dessert and coffee. Ruth had made preparations ahead of time, so it was not too much of a task. They are fine, warm-hearted and generous people. What a day! And still no word from Kennedy!
Monday, January 16: An early session with Seamans, Nunn, Dryden and Silverstein was interrupted by a call from Ruth. Sally has scarlet fever! A call to Dick Huffman resulted in reassurance as to the possibility of contamination, contagion and the probability of my carrying the infection to others. A few pills and no worry! This means Ruth cannot come back for the party on Wednesday night, which the staff is giving for us. But - back to business! We agreed on certain aspects of the communications satellite program. I keep hacking away at the prejudice against competitive enterprise and Abe continues to worry about our ability to justify turning over to one company the responsibility for significant parts of the system. Later in the morning, Jim Gleason and I repaired to the Hill to visit with Congressman Overton Brooks. He was cordial and sympathetic - said that Lyndon Johnson has given no indication of plans but that, sooner or later, the Senate would realize that the House of Representatives was still in existence. He seemed to have no solid views on the revival of the Space Council as proposed by Kennedy. Overton continues to feel that more money should be requested. Calling on other congressmen - Gerry Ford, Jim Fulton, Olin Teague, Harold Ostertag - we were pleasantly received but acquired no spiritual lift.
Lunch with Bob Seamans and Hugh to review a few last problems. I think we are in reasonable agreement as to organization and program although it is clear that a new administrator will have to make up his own mind - and probably will - as to the future of manned flight, Rover, the bigger rockets, etc. Dinner at the Brookings Institution with the president - Dr. [Robert D.] Calkins - and others of the staff and with Pete Quesada, Sumner Whittier of Veterans' Administration, and Fritz Mueller, [under] secretary of commerce. The purpose was to determine whether or not outgoing top administrators would be willing to devote a few days to the subject of governmental administration, transition between administrations, etc. All agreed to do so at the earliest possible time. No word from Kennedy yet!
Tuesday, January 17: The operation is slowing down. A lame duck has little authority or believability to an on-going staff, no matter how responsive the ties have been over the past months. Discussions with staff groups involve subtle but recognizable stiffening in resistance to suggestions by me or expressions of strongly held beliefs by me. No one should resent this - it is a natural and understandable fact of life. At 12:00, we went to the Cosmos Club where Hugh Dryden hosted a luncheon for me with perhaps 30 of the top staff in attendance. Hugh spoke briefly and gave me a thoughtfully worded scroll while Bob Seamans, for the group, presented me with a beautiful American flag and my own agency flag.  My response was emotional - I have never been able to overcome the emotional problem. But it was a sincere effort on the part of all concerned to express gratitude to each other. Dinner with Rich and Polly and back to the apartment to pack some more. They have been real friends to us in and out of Washington.
No word yet from Kennedy! Finally, today, I called the White House - General Persons and then Dave Kendall - to say that no one in NASA had been asked to stay, at any level. Hugh had expressed his willingness to serve on an interim basis but has not been asked. Dave called back in an hour saying that he had talked with Clark Clifford. Through this channel the word was passed by me to Hugh that the new administration wanted him to stay on for the time being! Ruth called to say she has decided to fly down tomorrow afternoon for the party being given for us by the staff. She will fly back on Thursday morning with Alice taking over at home with Sally for the single night.9
Wednesday, January 18: This was a quite full day. Discussions with various people took up the morning hours. There has been some pressure on me to take action in raising the grade for several secretaries, etc. - an action I have refused to take. It seems clear to me that one must continue to be available and in charge right down to the wire. But to crowd in questionable last minute personnel actions is highly improper. I think I convinced the boys of the justification for my position. A last conference with Abe Hyatt resulted in my approving the outlines for action in his planning operations although I urged - and he agreed - that these plans be explained thoroughly to the new administrator without delay. I had read a column by Roscoe Drummond recently that exhibited sound analysis with respect to our operations and position vis-a-vis the U.S.S.R. This morning I decided to ask Roscoe to think over with me the position in which the new administration has placed NASA. Why, I asked, were the newspapers so loath to point out the damaging delays involving inevitable morale degradation when only a few days or weeks earlier they were reporting our problems, decrying our lack of progress, trying to build up arguments between NASA and the DOD, and patting Kennedy and Johnson on the back for their concern and brave statements about the "new look" to be given to space as a matter of urgency. Unfortunately, I had only 15 minutes with Roscoe because of my final appointment with the president. I gave him a copy of the Wiesner report and a rundown of the preparations we had made for the transition operation. I pointed out the reactions of our people to the present situation; then I had to run. I hope Roscoe got the point!
At 2:30, I saw Ike for the last time on official business. He seemed a bit preoccupied but pleasant and cordial. His appointments, most of them like mine, are being interspersed with requests for last-minute signatures, etc. Ike said, "Why we can't leave a few things for the next President to sign; I don't understand." We  spoke briefly about our program and I complimented him on his courage in speaking out - in his farewell message to the nation - about the military-industry-science combination whose hold on government and, through governmental spending, on the economy, must be closely watched. This sparked him into a strong reiteration of his concern for governmental domination of the lives of the American people. Ike has been consistent in his position on the place of government in the development of the nation - a bit too conservative at times, in my opinion, but espousing a course of action much more to my liking than the Kennedy proposals as publicly discussed thus far. Ike remembered that I was going back to Case and wished me well. He expressed gratitude for my service and admiration for the work done by NASA in the short period we have been operating. He repeated his concern that man on the moon is a matter of questionable merit when compared to the many other demands on our resources. It was a pleasant 20 minutes and I shall be forever grateful for the opportunity of serving under Ike - a human being whose faults lay in his humanism, whose concern for people probably caused him to agonize over decisions affecting good people, whose belief in the separation of the legislative and executive branches caused him to refrain from putting pressure on the Hill as sometimes he might have done with profit, whose belief in democracy and the high goals of peace with justice in freedom are as bright and positively held today as they were eight years ago when he assumed office. In view of his age, illnesses and frustrations, he has performed remarkably well and leaves office with the affectionate regard of the nation - indeed, few there are who believe that Ike could be defeated if he were to run again.10 Ike's parting quip to me as I commented on the confusion of the transition was something like this: I can take most of this clutter and clatter, but Keith, I am unhappy when I think about riding down that avenue on Friday with a man for whom I do not have the greatest admiration - and on top of all that, to have to wear that damned top hat.
After the usual short de-briefing session on security matters, I went home to get Ruth for the party being held at Bolling Air Force Base officers club. Gee! It turned out to be a party of perhaps 300 with representatives from all the labs except Ames. After cocktails and a good dinner, Abe Silverstein chaired the meeting and called on representatives of each element of the organization for a few words and a presentation. Dick Horner had come in from the West Coast and sat with us at the head table. The gifts were many and interesting. Models of Echo, Mercury, the X-15, Pioneer IV and Saturn were accompanied by photo albums, a desk set with the clock timer from Mercury-Redstone 1, a Steuben bowl for Ruth, silver cigarette box and ash trays, and a quite wonderful picture made up from Tiros sequences. I had viewed with alarm the thought of a party, much preferring to fold my tent and steal silently away. Ruth spoke briefly and well and I spoke for perhaps ten minutes - this time  without undue emotion and with stress on the need for maintaining integrity of purpose and action. It was a good party, warmly appreciated because of the sincerity of those present. We left the presents to be boxed and shipped by Goddard. No word from Kennedy!
Thursday, January 19: Up early with Ruth so that I could load the station wagon and get her off to the airport. I should have said that the movers were prompt. Yesterday, after I had gone to the office, the driver from Cleveland arrived to pack the dishes, books, lamps, etc. So this morning, Bill Detrich took Ruth to the airport while I waited for the movers to start loading. Bill returned and everybody pitched in for a while so that the wagon was loaded and I could get off for the office by 9:30. Bill, by the way, gave me a rifle that he had rebuilt and cared for with real pride; he is a hobbyist in the gun field. It is heavy and probably will not see much service with me but I appreciate the thought behind the gift.
My day now became a tough one. I had planned to leave at noon for Cleveland but the boys had wanted me to hear a source evaluation board on Project Surveyor presented by JPL. This I did although it took a good four hours with time out for lunch. The decision was not too difficult but I did decide also that NASA must negotiate the contract with JPL in attendance - not as the negotiator. This is sure to raise problems but it is difficult to delegate to a contractor like JPL the responsibility for such a negotiation with $35 to $50 million involved. Finally, about 3 p.m., I was ready to leave. Snow had been falling since 11:30 and it was predicted that six inches were on the way. But I was not yet free. Josephine Dibella [Hugh Dryden's secretary] had brought in some sherry and the girls insisted that a few of us have one last drink together. As a result - it was pleasant and thoughtful, of course - it was 4:30 before I reached the apartment and started for Cleveland. Well-l-l! One hour later I had covered all of two miles. I turned around and started back - a relatively easy task. All roads were choked and snow was falling fast and furiously. Sighting a building set back from Connecticut Avenue, I turned in to borrow a telephone. Fifteen minutes later, I finally was able to get a line and called the Richmonds to beg a bed. Lucky me! They had room - so I started back into town. Two hours later, I parked the car half a mile from their apartment and walked through the snow, dodging between cars jammed together in the streets, on the road crossings and on the sidewalks. Never have I seen such a tangle - and tomorrow morning the inaugural!
Polly and I had a martini and some spaghetti since Rich was tied up entertaining business guests at the Statler. Tired out, I went off to bed without pajamas, etc., at 9:30. About 12:30 a.m. I woke and began to worry about the car, which I had left on a narrow street in a "no parking" spot. I decided to attempt to move it although the traffic was but little abated at this time. Fully dressed, I found I had no way of getting back into the apartment short of leaving the door open or waking the Richmonds - so I went back to bed. At 6:30, I rose quietly and departed, leaving a note of appreciation. Miraculously, the main streets were cleared and I was able to start for Cleveland about 7:15. Almost 5 hours later, I reached the turnpike  having had a few narrow escapes - the road being icy and covered with drifted snow in places. Cleveland was a welcome sight about 4:30 in the afternoon. I shaved, bathed and attended the trustees' farewell dinner for Kent Smith after having renewed my association with Sally, whose redness has somewhat lessened by now.
Driving home alone permitted me to listen to the inaugural ceremonies on the radio. Although I missed the TV, the commentators made it a vivid experience. Fortunately, I entered a tunnel on the turnpike just as the [Richard Cardinal] Cushing prayer started. Imagine my feelings upon emerging from said tunnel to find him still talking - actually making a speech. Much of what he said seemed to me to be in poor taste, religiously and temporally. Kennedy's speech seemed to me an excellent statement. He deserves support - will need it - and will get it from me so long as I am able to agree on the ends to be attained and, at least partially, on the means to be employed. So was ended - actually at 12:15 p.m. today - some 29 months of interesting, exciting, baffling and, at times, frustrating work in Washington. A rare privilege it has been to serve the nation and President Eisenhower in yet another new venture. After I have had time to reflect on these experiences a bit I hope to add some paragraphs to this narrative in an attempt to evaluate certain aspects of the problems with which I have been concerned on this stay in the nation's capitol city. As I sign off for the present, I am mindful of the many fine, able and devoted persons who have toiled in the bureaucratic vineyards, many of them for periods much longer than mine. Their friendship and willingness to be helpful has made the job more pleasant and has increased, most certainly, my effectiveness. Many of these were people in my own organization. Many others were people scattered throughout the other agencies of government. To them I will be grateful, always. And still - no word from the Kennedy administration!
1. NASA established this body early in 1960 to "provide a mechanism for the timely and direct resolution of technical and managerial problems that are common to all Centers engaged in the space flight program." It met quarterly in the office of the associate administrator and consisted of the directors of Goddard, Marshall, and JPL; the directors of headquarters program offices except life sciences; plus the associate administrator and some of his assistants. Sometimes, as this entry indicates, Glennan and Dryden also attended. The SEPC itself did not continue after Glennan's departure from NASA, but the concept of a "super-council" did reappear as a tool for managing the human space-flight program. (Rosholt, Administrative History of NASA, pp. 152-153.)
2. Glennan's successor as president of Case and then as first president of Case Western Reserve University was not Hrones but Robert Warren Morse. Hrones remained as vice president for academic affairs until 1964, when the title changed to provost; he held that position from 1964-1967 and then became provost of science and technology for the combined university from 1967-1976. Thereafter, he was provost emeritus. (Cramer, Case Institute of Technology, pp. 221-222, 266.)
3. On this date, the Mercury-Redstone-2 flight from the Atlantic Missile Range sent a Mercury capsule with a chimpanzee named Ham aboard to an altitude of 157 miles. Some 418 miles down range, a recovery team found Ham in good health. (U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science and Astronautics, Report of NASA, Aeronautical and Astronautical Events of 1961 [Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1962], p. 4.)
4. The outcome of these discussions that Glennan has been outlining in the diary for some months was an announcement by NASA in July 1961, after Glennan had left NASA, to launch and track two Bell Telephone Laboratories-designed satellites, later officially designated Telstar, for AT&T on a reimbursable basis. On 10 July 1962 Telstar I was launched successfully, with demonstrations of television transmissions beginning shortly after launch. (NASA Historical Data Book, Vol. II, pp. 373-374.)
5. Of the four, on 19 January 1961 NASA selected Hughes Aircraft to build seven Surveyor landers. These spacecraft, under a project managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, provided data on the lunar surface and environment in support of the Apollo program. Of the seven missions between 30 May 1966 and 9 January 1968, five were successful. (NASA Historical Data Book, Vol.II, pp. 325-331.)
6. This was an apparent reference to the Relay program to launch a low-altitude active communications satellite. On 25 January NASA briefed industry on the requirements for Project Relay, and on 18 May 1961 it awarded a contract to Radio Corporation of America for the development of three Relay satellites, only the first two of which were launched on - 13 December 1962 and 21 January 1964. Both were successful. Relay I showed that a satellite could function as a microwave repeater, and Relay II provided television, teletype facsimile, and digital data transmission with satisfactory results. (NASA Historical Data Book, Vol. II, pp. 376-379.)
7. In this connection, for Telstar Bell constructed a large ground antenna in Maine, while communications agencies in England, France, and Germany constructed ground stations to operate with both Telstar and Relay. NASA stations for Relay in Italy, Brazil, Japan, and elsewhere could also work with Telstar. (NASA Historical Data Book, Vol. II, pp. 373, 376.)
8. The report, a copy of which is available in the NASA Historical Reference Collection under "Jerome Wiesner" in the biographical file, was a "Report to the President-Elect of the Ad Hoc Committee on Space." It was dated 10 January 1961 but not released to the media until 12 January. Wiesner, who became President Kennedy's special assistant on science and technology, had been a professor of electrical engineering at MIT since 1950 and was also the director of the Research Lab of Electronics at MIT. Hornig was chair of the Princeton chemistry department; Land was president of Polaroid Corporation; Purcell was a professor of physics at Harvard; and Rossi was a professor of physics at MIT. Among other things, the report stated (p. 3): "Our review of the United States' space program has disclosed a number of organizational and management deficiencies as well as problems of staffing and direction which should receive prompt attention from the new administration. These include serious problems within NASA, within the military establishment, and at the executive and other policy-making levels of government."
9. In response to a written query, on 9 July 1993 Glennan identified Alice as "our respected maid."
10. Of course, Ike was prohibited from running again by Amendment XXII of the Constitution, passed in 1951 before he assumed office. Besides his heart attack in September 1955, already mentioned, he had a bout with ileitis in June 1956 and a slight stroke in November 1957.