Fountain honors Mexican president

Midtown resident Richard Shank wins the latest fountain contest and two tickets to the Jiggle Jam Family Music Festival.

He identified the Aleman Court Fountain at 310 West 47th St. in the Country Club Plaza.

Mexican President Miguel Aleman in 1947 dedicated the court wall fountain that is named after him.

Aleman accomplished much in his country, according to Wikipedia, but its authors criticize his methods:

He was president from 1946 to 1952 and earlier in his career was a successful attorney in defending workers against corporations.

He won labor union support after getting compensation for dependents of railroad workers killed in revolutionary battles and money for miners injured at work.

As president, he pursued industrial development, extended the nation’s rail network, improved highways and schools.

In 1952, he gave women the right to vote in municipal elections and he greatly expanded production of rice, sugar, bananas, coffee, oats and pineapple.

He also played a major role in making Acapulco a worldwide tourist attraction and in diverting a river to end Mexico City’s water supply problems.

But Wikipedia’s summery of his service is less than glowing: “Rampant political corruption and crony capitalism would mark his administration, and this would shape the relationship of politics and big business in Mexico until the present day.”

The fountain contests start each Wednesday through May 8 with winners and a history of the fountains announced the following Mondays.

They are intended to allow people to show off their knowledge and call attention to the city’s 48 fountains.

About half the fountains need repair and the City of Fountains Foundation is trying to raise $2.7 million to repair those in the most need.

Donations for fountain repair can be sent to the City of Fountains Foundation, 4049 Central, Kansas City, Mo., 64111.

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