National Geographic : 1951 Nov
DAR Headquarters in Washington, D. C., Carries the Appropriate Number, 1776 This massive three-in-one combination-Memorial Continental Hall, Constitution Hall, and their connect ing link, the Administration Building-forms the largest structure ever raised by women. The Administration Building, standing at 1776 D Street, bears the Declaration of Independence date. and aviators reported adventures that opened up new horizons of man's knowledge, from North Pole to South Pole, from the depths of the sea to the stratosphere. Prominent on the star-spangled list of those who have spoken in Constitution Hall are the bright names of MacMillan, Byrd, and Beebe; General of the Armies of the United States John J. Pershing, and General of the Air Force H. H. Arnold; Lowell Thomas, back from Tibet; Auguste Piccard, who dared the stratosphere to study cosmic rays; and U. S. Army airmen Albert W. Stevens and Orvil A. Anderson, who won the world's alti tude record in a stratosphere balloon. At an early gathering in 1932, one of the most distinguished audiences ever brought to gether under one roof witnessed the presenta tion to Amelia Earhart of the National Geo graphic Society's Special Gold Medal, honor ing her solo flight over the Atlantic.* It was by no accident then that President Hoover, in making the award on behalf of The Society, described the tragically destined aviatrix as belonging "in spirit with the great pioneering women to whom every generation of Americans has looked up." To see DAR headquarters "whole," I drove slowly, one evening at dusk, around the full city block it occupies in the shadow of the Washington Monument. An endless chain of winking headlights from homeward-bound traffic lent an air of mystery, of shadow and substance, to the stately-columned facade of Memorial Continental Hall. Beyond stretched the simple, horizontal lines of the connecting Administration Building; still farther loomed the great square of Constitution Hall, with its massive entrance steps and broad, Ionic pillared portico. Continental Congress Draws Thousands Each spring more than 4,000 delegates con verge on these buildings to attend the Con tinental Congress, the DAR national con vention which has become as much a part of the Capital scene as the cherry-blossom festival. The spring date itself is a symbol of DAR feeling for American history. The Daughters permanently reserve Constitution *See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "My Flight from Hawaii," by Amelia Earhart, May, 1935; and "Society's Special Medal Awarded to Amelia Earhart," September, 1932.