Bio: Blum, Mariann and Karen (Work in Wash. D.C. - 1970)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Blum, Perkins, Smith, Braatz, Barr, Johnson

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 2/26/1970

Blum, Mariann and Karen (Work in Washington, D.C. - 1970)

Mariann and Karen Blum left Wednesday for Washington, D. C., after a 10-day visit with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herb Blum.

Mariann, who graduated from Neillsville High School June 2, 1969, was in the nation’s capital June 5 and on Monday, June 9, was at the FBI Building starting two days of orientation to prepare her for her work in a section of the crime research division. The building takes in a full city block and has seven floors. She is employed in a library containing factual crime books. Her office has the largest collection of telephone books in the United States and Mariann’s job is to answer calls from people requesting addresses and occasionally phone numbers. The collection now includes a Neillsville phone book.

While Mariann was in high school an FBI man came about three times to talk to her guidance counselor, John Perkins. She and her parents feel that the training she received at school which involved the interest and help of Mr. Perkins as well as that of her government teacher, Kendall Smith, and other teachers, and her extra-curricular activities, including reporting or the school paper with Mrs. Irene Braatz as advisor, were instrumental in obtaining her position with the FBI.

Karen, who had been working in St. Paul, Minn., since her graduation from Neillsville High School in 1966, followed her sister to Washington last September. She is employed at data processing in the American Security and Trust Bank whose president is W. Barr, former Secretary of Treasury under President Johnson.

The girls live near each other in Oxon Hill, Md., about eight miles from downtown Washington. During the riots they had to stay in their apartments when they were finished with their day’s work. Karen didn’t see much of the confusion but Mariann had only to look out a window to see them and heard the chanting. She said it gave her an eerie feeling, almost as though she were dreaming.

At one time she and another girl had to leave the office on an errand. There were no rioters present as they left by the back door, but when they returned some had gathered and the girls were grateful for the police who kept them back, allowing the girls to enter the building after showing their identification.

During the one “peace” march, about 50,000 people descended upon the city, coming by all forms of transportation. They pitched tents and slept anywhere and everywhere they could find a place. There are five to 6,000 military in the city at all times and extra were brought in to equal the number of marchers, just in case of trouble. Marines moved into the White House, to remain, sitting and sleeping in the halls, until the marchers dispersed and left the city. Mariann said that one of the demonstrations was very orderly but that the next march was more of a riot. It seemed strange to her to see them rioting and calling for “peace”, at the same time. The third time there was many of them gathered around the FBI building and at one point the police formed a wall and pushed them back.



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