FAMOUS FACES

A NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY THAT enrolls Tallulah Bankhead and Alger Hiss and rejects Pat Schroeder has some explaining to do ["America's Hall of Fame," June 13]. Whether or not one agrees with Schroeder's politics is irrelevant. During her more than 20 years in Congress she was a major force in national politics, an outspoken advocate for women's rights, the downtrodden, civil liberties and the arts. (And, contrary to the objections of one of the gallery's historians, my former boss did chair a committee, the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families.)

Members of Congress who made a mark on modern American politics, such as Pat Schroeder -- not to mention, for example, Everett Dirksen, Barbara Jordan, Newt Gingrich, Barry Goldwater and Mo Udall -- belong in the gallery.

DANIEL BUCK

Washington

CIRCUS `ENTERTAINMENT'

YOUR PHOTOS OF ANIMAL ACTS FROM the UniverSoul Circus ["Big Top Hip-Hop," June 20] reflect an editorship that is less informed than much of its readership. People have become much more sophisticated about the ugly realities behind this primitive but still-romanticized form of "entertainment." I doubt you would provide free advertisement to a studio that used unpaid actors who are rewarded with chains, stifling living conditions and no vacations. Why do you do it for these types of circuses?

CORY KIRCHERT

Collierville, Tenn.

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