[The political imbroglio in North Africa, which appeared to be straightening out, was further aggravated by the assassination of Admiral Darlan on December 24. General Henri Giraud was elected High Commissioner.
President Roosevelt's State of the Union Message to the Seventy-eighth Congress was delivered on January 8. In it he reviewed the progress of the war and American production, and again talked about the postwar world.
Two days later he left Miami, on his first airplane trip as President, to meet Churchill at the Casablanca Conference. ( Stalin had been invited, but pleaded that the fighting in Russia made his leaving there impossible.) At the conference, the decision was made to invade Sicily in 1943 and to continue the build-up of forces and supplies in the United Kingdom. The invasion of France was postponed until the following year. Here the "unconditional surrender" principle--still a matter of controversy--was announced.
Shortly after the President's arrival in Washington on January 31, the momentous Russian victory at Stalingrad was completed. The Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal had already begun, attended by sharp naval and air engagements.]
February 5, Friday. After a day which included a Cabinet meeting and a press conference, several run-of-the-mine visitors, and Frank Walker for lunch, the President entrained at the Bureau tonight and left for Hyde Park at 10: 30. The President sent a letter to Bob Doughton, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, urging rejection of a proposal to repeal the Executive Order limiting salaries to $25,000 net a year. Such an amendment has been offered by Representative Bertrand W. Gearhart as a