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Our Washington Letter

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To the Editor of The Hechter. Sir : - The opening day of a session of Congress is always looked forward to in anxious anticipation by the residents of Washington. In fact it may be said that the firet day of the session is the only day upon which the average citizen of Washington evinces a sufflcient degree of interest in the proceedings of Congress to induce him to attend its sessions. As a rule the audiences that fill both House and Senate galleries are composed largely of sight seeing visitors from out of town, who go to the Capitol out of mere curiosity, and from their gallery seats look down upon the more or less animated scène that may be in progresa at the time upon the floor, in very much the same spirit that animates the audience at a circus or theatre. As usual, the beginning of the session on Mondyy last, drew to the Capitol an immense crowd that was composod largely of citizens of Washington. The galleries were filled to their utmost capacity, and hundreds were unable to gain admittance. The desks of the presiding officers and those of many of the Senators and members were laden with floral offeringa. Several of the floral designs had attached to them cards with bits of poetry. The most elabórate floral design in the House was noticed upon the desk of Representativo Bliss, and upon a card attached were the following lines : ' Oh, Archie Bliss, We send you this Great bunch of fragrant posies, And Archie Bliss, We teil you this, You are sweet as any rose is." No attempt is made by the present minority in the House to disguise the pleasure experienced in the anticipation of their soon assuming control of the House, and the scènes of activity about the various committee rooms show the interest that is taken in the contest for the speakership. This early opsning of the speakership contest it is expected will result in the calling of a special session of the new Congress soon after the 4th of March. When the 26-inch telescope was constructed for the Naval Observatory, it was the largeBt refracting telescope in the world; with it, the astronomer in charge, Prof. Adolph Hall, discovered Dionos and Phobos, the two moons of Mars, and many other interesting objects. For nine years and a half it held its position as the flnest telescope in the world, but at the end of that time three larger ones were constru ted in Europe ; one in Russia, one in Germany, and one in France. A year ago America again gained the prestige when the great 34-inch instrument was erected in the Lick Observatory on thn top of Mount Hamilton in California. With this the moon appears to be only Bixty miles from the earth, and many new stars are constantly being discovered. At present the uniyersity of Southern California is negotiating for a 42-inch telescope, and last week a bilí was introduced in Congress for the appropriation of a million dollars to construct a monster 60-inch instrument for the Naval Obseryatory. If this measure is suctessful, it is estimated that the moon will appear to be only a few thousand yards from the earth, and then we can determine to a certainty whether or


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