A bronze bust of former Sen. J. William Fulbright (D-Ark.) was presented to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Monday to commemorate his little-publicized role in the creation of the national performing arts center on the banks of the Potomac River.
Fulbright, 84, was accompanied by his bride of two days, the former Hariet Mayor, to a small ceremony in an Opera House lounge. "As ugly as I am, I think it's wonderful," he said of the bust by sculptor Gretta Bader of Stanford, Calif.
Fulbright recalled that he accompanied the Soviet ambassador to a performance of the Bolshoi Ballet in a local movie theater in 1957. The theater was such a bad locale, he said, that he introduced legislation the next day authorizing a national cultural center in Washington.
The center, which opened in 1971, is the only official national memorial to President Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.