National Geographic : 1964 Dec
under specially tinted laminated glass at the Na tional Archives. In an emergency, the documents can be lowered into a steel vault in 60 seconds. willows along the Potomac turn the first feathery green and the shad start to run in the Georgetown Channel, the sightseers begin arriving in Washington. They come by the busload, by train and by car, even on foot. Somebody is always marching on Washington. They keep on coming, more than a million a month, all through the deep summer, until the autumn mists creep low of a morning up the Potomac and the willows turn to golden fountains with the frost. Sometimes special occasions-the great civil rights march of August, 1963, a Presi dential inauguration, or Washington's annual spring Cherry Blossom Festival-strain the city to capacity. The weather, rarely hailed as a Washington asset, often provides a welcome all its own. In 1959 it provided sleet instead of cherry blossoms. For the festival's sponsors, early April is an agony of suspense. What the visitors find in Washington de pends upon themselves; there is endless va riety to explore. Few pass through the city without walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a view of the majestic marble figure by Daniel Chester French (pages 738-9). Fewer still fail to take advantage of the Smith sonian Institution's unparalleled range of exhibits-art galleries, a zoo, natural history collections, and now the imposing Museum of History and Technology (page 743). More than 1,000 visitors a day stream through another unique exhibit, Explorers Hall, in the National Geographic Society's new headquarters building. There, lifelike displays chronicle three-quarters of a century of discovery, including Adm. Robert E. Peary's brilliant conquest of the North Pole SINCE NOVEMBER. 1894, when it published "Surveys and Maps of the Iistrict of Colum bia," NATIONAL GEG; RAPHIC has chronicled the changing face of the Nation's Capital in more than forty articles. Notable word-and picture essays have described the Capitol (January, 1964, and August, 1952), the White House (January, 1961), the Smithsonian Institution (June, 1960), the C & O Canal (.March, 1960), P1ennsylvania .Avenue (Janu ary, 1957), the National Gallery of .rt (No vember, 1956), Mount Vernon (November, 1953), (eorgetown (.April, 1953), Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia (January, 1953), and the Library of Congress (May, 1950). More recently your Society, as a public serv ice, helped prepare the best-selling official guidebooks to the White House and the United States Capitol.