Letter to National Park Service


January 28, 1985

The Honorable Russell E. Dickenson
Director, National Park Service
Department of Interior
Washington, D. C. 20240

Dear Mr. Dickenson:

Over the last few months, I have noticed a growing visual pollution around Lafayette Park in Washington, D. C. There appears to be a number of permanent installations of posters, placards and protesters in the park across from the White House.

Although each citizen enjoys the constitutional protection of the freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble, these rights are not unlimited and absolute. Other citizens including the first family in the White House should have an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the park without the permanent cardboard clutter. The situation has deteriorated to the point where it cries out for some sensible regulation.

I find the conditions at Lafayette Park highly offensive. In my view, there must be-reasonable standards imposed and enforced on the demonstrators while protecting their basic rights. Please provide me a report on your efforts to manage this situation and any additional authority or measures which will help you in this matter.

Mark O. Hatfield
United States Senator

cc: Mrs. Ronald Reagan

National Park Service Acting Director's Response