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'Kansans Reap Lots of Corn in Song Contest'

October 19, 1985

I am pleased to see that really serious subjects, such as the contest to find an Official City Song for Wichita, are getting front-page attention in The Times (Sept. 30), "Kansans Reap Lots of Corn in Song Contest.

Had previous song contests gotten such generous news coverage, the Wichita Chamber of Commerce might have avoided a serious gaffe; to wit, opening the contest not only to non-Kansans but to foreigners as well.

Gov. Pat Neff, seeking a Texas State Song in 1923, made the identical mistake and paid through the nose for it. The Legislature delayed acceptance of his choice, "Texas, Our Texas," for six long years, filling page after page of Texas Legislative Journals with impassioned resolutions and conducting at least three more song contests before finally approving Neff's choice and paying the now-impoverished composers their $1,000 prize.

If Wichita efforts suffer similar delays, let them be comforted by the fact that it took the U.S. Congress 120 years to declare "The Star Spangled Banner" our National Anthem .

H.W. ANDERSON

La Jolla

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