The Press: The Terrible, Beautiful World

One day last week perplexed little Sixth-grader Betty Mullican, of Rockville, Md., wrote a letter to the Washington Post: "We are studying the world. We would like to have some information on these topics: 1) how the world started; 2) how the world changed; 3) how the world actually is now; 4) our relationship to the world; 5) how we can best leave this world for the others who follow us."

The Post's first answer, in its first edition: ". . . We can answer just one point: how the world is now. The...

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