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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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probably wouldn't get there. It took us an hour and something to get from Georgetown to 10th Street. We realized that we wouldn't get there probably until 11:30 and by that time the show would be over. We were hopeless. Everything was absolutely total chaos, and it gave one such a feeling of insecurity. You felt what would ever happen if a real disaster hit Washington, because cars were left a bandoned in the middle of streets, and everything was in total disorder.

Well, imagine my surprise when by the morning the Army had cleared the streets and that we actually drove to the Capitol in a crisp, cold day and sat outdoors on wooden planks for the Inauguration. It was as good a day as the day when Truman was inaugurated.

Florence and I had seats that she had been given by Senator Hayden of Arizona. They were smack in the middle of the audience, right in front of the center of the platform, and behind the diplomatic corps. It was freezing cold. I remember having on a white mink hat and even with that and a mink coat I was freezing!

Well, the Inauguration went off without a hitch, except at one moment when there was a burning of smoke, some kind of electrical wire mishap, and, then, poor Robert Frost's papers blew and the sun hit them in such a way that it was very difficult for him to read and I had great anxiety about his long lapses of sound because I had been there when Udall had arranged for him to make his appearance at the Inauguration and he had written a special poem in honor of the Inauguration and of Kennedy.

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