National Geographic : 1962 Sep
The red dust flew amid the scrubby trees, and the dream turned into wondrously modern buildings-congress; ministries; the supreme court; a palace for the president. On April 21, 1960, Juscelino cut the ribbons. Brasilia was in business, more or less (pages 340-41).* When I got there last spring, the Federal District was two years old. Government workers and kin numbered 20,000 among 200,000 residents, including 60,000 construc tion workers. More bureaucrats were moving in, reluctantly, as more apartments became available in the superblocks. Prices were high in Brasilia. And who would ever leave Rio unless he absolutely had to? Juscelino was an ex-president now, and Mayor Sette Camara cut the ribbons. Four university buildings. A wheat mill. A new bakery. A sewage plant. 312 "Everything is carefully planned," said the mayor. His office had three doors, and people kept rushing in to get things signed. "Ameri cans think we are lazy, always taking a siesta. In Rio, maybe. In Brasilia, no!" Pools Built While You Wait I wondered how people in Brasilia could sleep at all. Construction banged and clat tered day and night, especially at the Hotel Nacional. The manager apologized. "On Thursday we have a fashion show at the pool, a benefit for abandoned children." Incredible. This was Tuesday, and the pool was a mess of scaffolding and cement bags. Around the clock the candangos sang, told loud stories, and evidently wrought miracles, *See "Brasilia, Metropolis Made to Order," by Her nane Tavares de Sa, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, May, 1960.