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U.S. Holocaust Museum to Open in Washington

April 04, 1993|KIM UPTON

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum opens to the public April 26 in Washington. Mandated by Congress and partially funded by the federal government, it will be America's only national memorial to the Holocaust and a significant educational institution. Located at 10 Raoul Wallenberg Place S.W. (15th Street and Independence Avenue), the museum's 36,000 square feet of exhibition space will tell the story of the Holocaust through artifacts, audiovisual displays, photographs, documents and eyewitness testimonies. On the concourse level, the Children's Wall of Remembrance, a memorial to the approximately 1.5 million children killed by the Nazis, will feature 6,000 tiles, each hand-painted by an American schoolchild depicting his or her view of the Holocaust. A 16,000-square-foot library contains books and records of Holocaust-related material from national and international institutions. For information, call (202) 488-0400.

Travel Quiz: What body of water do Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Northwest Territories all border?

They Otter Be in Pictures: This weekend and next, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is hosting several special events celebrating the reopening of its popular sea otter exhibit, closed since September for renovation. Talks on otters, sea otter face-painting for children and outdoor telescopes for otter spotting will be included in aquarium admission ($10.50 adults, $7.75 students, $4.75 children ages 3-12). The $750,000 renovation includes redesigned rock work and a new, more efficient water filtration system that for the first time will permit the addition of fish, invertebrates and marine plants to the two-story exhibit. The permanent exhibit is designed to mimic the natural appearance of the shoreline habitat of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which lies just beyond the aquarium deck.

Fewer Elephants in Sri Lanka: Tamil Tiger rebels, ivory poachers, angry farmers and a hunger for land have decimated Sri Lanka's wild elephant population--once an important tourist attraction. The number has dropped to about 3,000, from 20,000 in the 1950s, said C.P. Attanayake, deputy director of the Sri Lankan Wildlife Department. "Our information says the death rate is now greater than the birth rate," Attanayake told reporters. In 1992, 75 elephants were killed, 33 of them by Tamil rebels fighting for a homeland in northeastern Sri Lanka, and the rest by farmers protecting their fields or by ivory poachers. A similar number of babies were born that year, but the figure for deaths does not include elephants that died of old age or illness. To combat the problem, Attanayake said the department had asked the government for $430,000 for elephant conservation programs.

Still Cheap to Europe: Just as air fares to Europe are on the rise for the summer/high season, Translift Airways, an Irish airline based in Shannon, will begin twice-weekly air service between Los Angeles and Shannon, Ireland, by offering a $499 round-trip introductory fare. Tickets must be purchased by April 15 for travel May 30--when service begins--to June 30. The minimum stay is 10 days, the maximum 60. This will be the first scheduled service for the airline, which was established in 1991 and has, until now, operated only freight and charter flights. The twice-weekly service will have one stop, but no change of planes, in Winnipeg, Canada.

Trip in Training: In July, the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will send a restored 1923 Pullman car, the Dover Harbor, and a Streamliner-era sleeper car from Washington to Chicago for the National Railway Historical Society Convention, the annual gathering of the largest rail fan society in the United States. The train excursion, from Washington to Chicago, includes cocktails and dinner and breakfast each way, and sleeping accommodations between the two cities. Round-trip fare is $525 per person. The train departs from Washington July 19 and returns July 26. Built by Chicago's Pullman Co., the Pullman car, which sometimes operates between Los Angeles and Washington, was restored to its current configuration of six double bedrooms, buffet and lounge by members of the Washington Historical Society. For information, call the National Railway Historical Society, (301) 292-9592.

Quick Fact: If you see people walking around Japan wearing surgical masks from January to June, don't look for scalpels. They are simply protecting themselves from kafunsho (literally, flower powder symptoms), or hay fever.

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