Segment: First experiences in Florida and WWI

Source: Interview with Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Videotaped at the Douglas House in Coconut Grove, June 16, 1983.

Link to Audio: SPC95A_5

Length of Segment: 00:02:39

Interviewer: How old were you at that time when you were…

MSD: Well, I came down when I was 25 when I came to Florida in 1915.  I came down to get a divorce.  And my father was here, as the editor of the paper here, so I got a job on the paper in a totally new country, and so here I was and it was all very exciting and interesting.  Those days, it wasn’t a quickie; you had to be here two years to get a divorce, and it was all right with me.  I kept on staying here after I got it.  Then after three years I went overseas with the war, towards the end of the war, and I was over about nineteen months in France with the American Red Cross headquarters in Paris, in the publicity department, so I was sent all over France and Italy and the Balkans with a cameraman of my own writing stories, writing AP stories, that the Red Cross sent back to Paris and of course we’d file with the AP.  We had to file five stories a day on the AP and so on.  So I did newspaper work over a good deal of Europe, not all of it, but a good deal of it.  I loved every bit of it; I loved living in Paris and I loved Paris and France.  I had French enough to get around on and all that, and I used it a great deal, of course.  So that was a great experience.  When that work was practically done, my father cabled me to come back to be his assistant editor, so when I came back that time in 1920, then I didn’t do anymore reporting on the Herald, I was assistant to my father writing editorials and I had a column of my own that I could write anything I wanted to; descriptive stuff and book reviews and comments and all that kind of junk.  So that was for the next three years.  That of course, you use material of the country and all that.  I learned about Florida politics from my father who was a great student of them.  He was a student of constitutional history, he had been a lawyer.  So I learned an awful lot from him about the country and the politics and all that; my stepmother was a lady from an old Florida family from Tallahassee, and I learned about old Florida from her, so I was well situated to learn a great deal about old Florida from her, more than just the Everglades, but of course that was part of it.