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Notes on the Geography of Brazil: Brasilia: Photo 1

world pictures Brazil: Brasilia

The idea of a capital in the Outback--the sertão--was an old one, going back to a Cruls Commission in the 1890s and a Belcher report in the 1950s, but implementation depended on this man, Juscelino Kubitscheck--medical doctor, mayor (of Belo Horizonte), governor (of Minas Gerais), and president of Brazil from 1956 to 1961. His campaign slogan had been "Fifty years of progress in five," and he came close on many fronts, most spectacularly here, where the capital was opened on what we might now call a Chinese construction schedule: three years from green light to dedication. The daughter of the city's master planner has written that Kubitschek was asked "Will you move the capital?" He replied, "I will." There you go: no mealy-mouthing there. This memorial, near the Congress building, is an homage to the pioneers in the "great adventure" of "clearing the wilderness."

See Maria Elisa Costa, daughter Lucio, in Roberto Montezuma's Arquitetura brasil 500 anos, 2002, pp. 247.

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