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February 27, 1984
A short night & now a long day—but it was one of those days when everything seemed to go right. N.S.C. briefing was on Chernenko’s letter. We’re agreed we are going to make our plans for response with George B., George S., Bud, Cap & me—no bureaucracy. Governors were gathered in East Room—I spoke briefly then took Question’s—all were on the deficit except John Carlins (Kansas) his was on plight of farmers. Met with John Block (Sec. of Agri.) who reported on his trip—Europe, Israel, Africa. He’s right that we must find a way to use food which we produce in surplus to help & befriend the hungry nations. Starvation is widespread in Africa because of a continent wide drought. Geo. B. & I had lunch & did more talking about Soviets plus a little politics. He’s carried the ball in N. H. We had an N.S.P.G. meeting in the Situation room where Bill Casey reported on our worldwide covert actions. After some desk time I had a string of visitors beginning with enlisted men—representing each branch of service as journalists on staffs of each of the services magazines. They have submitted lists of Q’s. in lieu of interviews. Saw our Ambas. (Cutler) & family—(lovely people) off to Saudi Arabia. Then a string of photo ops. Sil Conte brought in a great ball player Yastrzenski [Yastrzemski]—just retired after 23 yrs. He’s become a sports announcer. Then Steve Symms brought in a young woman artist who does Western Art—she had painted a big picture of Nancy & me & “Little Man.” Did it from a photo & a darn good job. Jennings Randolph brought in the W. Va. Strawberry Queen. A very nice girl who intends to teach elementary grades. Dick Lugar brought in a delegation of Am. Legion vets who have formed an Am. & Canadian vets group. They made me a member. A taping session & upstairs.