Nation: The Great Kite Bust

The anti-kite law in the District of Columbia seemed a good idea when it was passed in 1892. Washington's utility wires were then strung overhead for kites to tangle in and possibly short-circuit. No one ever thought to repeal the law, although it was not enforced in recent generations.

Washington's Park Police, however, recently have grown almost neurotically literalminded about kites ever since an underground newspaper asked for a permit to stage a kiteflying contest. The Smithsonian Institution was then denied a permit to hold its annual kiteflying carnival on the spacious Mall between the Capitol and Washington Monument. Then when a...

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