Barbara Le Lièvre kept a diary while
living in Washington D.C. and Paris, France in 1945, during the final days of World War II.
Early entries in the diary highlight Le Lièvre's daily activities in Washington D.C. and New
York, including her attendance with her husband, Lucien, at a formal reception at the French
Embassy in Washington where she met the new French ambassador to the U.S. She often refers
to world events in her entries, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death and VJ
Day, about which she wrote on August 16, "V-J Day--official holiday, Japan has
surrendered!!" She and her husband sailed for France aboard a ship she describes as "a dingy
troop transport," and arrived in Paris by way of Marseille on August 30. She writes that she
feels "horror at the sight of Paris" as it rebuilds following the war, but over her time
there gradually makes friends, finds a place to live with Lucien, attends dinners and
fashion shows, visits museums and other tourist sites like Notre Dame and the Trocadéro, and
rides her bicycle or walks through the Bois de Boulogne. Entries are fairly consistent, but
end upon her return to the United States in December 1945.
Barbara Davenport Loughman was born on December 31, 1918 in Essex, Massachusetts to parents
Edward and Elizabeth (neé Sufkin). Following graduation from high school in 1937, Barbara
attended Mount Saint Mary's College in New York, and then transferred to Radcliffe College,
where she graduated with a degree in English in 1941. While attending Radcliffe College, she
met Lucien Le Lièvre, a French lawyer studying law at Harvard University. The couple married
on March 10, 1943 in New York. Lucien graduated from Harvard later that year, and in 1944
began work as Associate General Council for the French Supply Council in Washington, D.C. In
1945, he and Barbara spent most of the year living in Paris, returning to the US in
November. In 1946, Lucien was admitted to the New York and Massachusetts bar. Barbara was a
homemaker and socialite, and worked with a number of charities, including the New York
Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Edgartown Boys Club, and other social service
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