After a week of eager expectations, the President, his family and official party were set for the 4,700-mile flight to Rio. The sleek new presidential DC-6, Independence, had been stocked with rubber life rafts, machetes, canned rations, rifles, insect repellents and parachutes—just in case of trouble.

The Independence, with Brazilian Ambassador Carlos Martins and his wife aboard, took off from Washington National Airport this week, two hours after a plane loaded with 22 reporters, photographers, radio and newsreel men. In the press plane was one woman: slight, sharp-tongued, fiftyish May Craig, a grandmother and longtime correspondent for Maine's Gannett newspaper...

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