Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
"This place is a place of power," observed presidential media adviser Barry Jagoda Tuesday night, as he perused the Great Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building, "only if you happen to think that idea are powerful."
Ten years ago the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Act founded a living memorial to that president with the creation of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - a publicly and privately funded center which brings some 40 scholars a year to Washington to study major international, social and governmental problems.
The Wilson Center's founding chairman of the board was the late senator Hubert H. Humphrey. His sister Frances Howard was on hand to celebrate the 10th anniversary.
With a string quartet providing the background music, a crowd of close to 200 - including former scholars and current, such as Gloria Steinem - munched canapes, as many recalled what their year at the Wilson Center had meant.
"For me it was very important," mused Soviet poet Andre Voznesensky, who spent last year at the center, "because never before had I sat in four walls and just wrote and read theoretical poetry. Maybe," he chuckled, "maybe I became more serious because of it."
Although board member Stu Eizenstat, Jimmy Carter's chief domestic adviser, could not be on hand because of the president's television address, Sen. Harrison Williams (D-NJ) did show. It was Williams who 10 years ago introduced the legislation resulting in the center's founding, and Tuesday night Williams presented a framed copy of that legislation to Dr. James Billington, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center.
"This center," Billington explained later, "is not just for studying - it's a switchboard for making connections . . . a memory bank that creates an inventory of the past to help out with the present and the future."
Included among guests were Peter Bourne and Mary King, Daniel Boorstin of the Library of Congress and Jerrold Schecter, associate press secretary for Zhigniew Brezinski.