FEBRUARY 4, 1957
HYDE PARK—I was delighted to read the other day of the recommendation of the President and Congress for a national cultural center in Washington, D.C.
In this building there will be auditoriums and halls of different sizes where national and international conferences could be held. Such things as inaugural balls and major convention exhibitions, as well as civic receptions, opera, ballet and theatre, would be possible there.
The stage also would make it possible to hold symphonic and other musical events, both large and small. One interesting feature in the plans is a tourist information center where the 1½ million annual visitors to the nation's capital could be provided proper guide service in seeing the city and its surroundings.
In addition, there would be underground parking and dining facilities, both of which would be welcomed by tourists.
The commission which has made the study of the center's possibilities recommends that the major cost of building be raised by private subscription, but it hopes that Congress will provide the site and estimates that revenue from the center, parking, etc., would amount to $487,000 a year, enough to cover annual operating expenses.
The commission is looking for some 25 acres as a site. It prefers one in what is known as the "foggy bottom" area, but two other sites in the southwestern section of Washington are under consideration.
It sounds like a most wonderful development and one to which the people of the country should be glad to contribute, because it would be a great addition to the cultural life of the country.
I think the many visitors to Washington would find interesting the little 25-cent booklet called "You in the U.S.A." It is published by the Carrie Chapman Memorial Fund and is written by Helen Hill Miller, who recently served a term as president of the Women's National Press Club in Washington.
This booklet tells you how to get around in this country and how it is governed. It gives you, as well, an infinite amount of information that any tourist, American or foreign, will find valuable in visiting any part of our country.
I felt decidedly lost Friday morning without the New York Times and Herald Tribune, the delivery of which was prevented by a handlers' union strike. Although I was provided with copies of the New York News and the Mirror, I didn't feel quite as much at home as I do with my usual newspapers.
The one piece of news that stared at me from both newspapers was of the horrible plane crash in California. This type of accident always seems as though it might have been avoided, and we cannot help feel grieved over the loss of life and the sorrow in its wake.