Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Mary LaskerMary Lasker
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

whatever it is he's suggesting, even though Dutton has probably told him that he should do this about me. That is, I'm not going to have him hear that I won't do something because I want him to be cooperative about a number of things that I want him to do.”

So, with grave misgivings, about which I was entirely right, I said all right. The Cultural Center, as it was proposed, was to be a 70-million-dollar series of buildings, and it had on the board practically no one who had any money or any know how about raising money, and a large number of people like the Secretary of HEW and the Librarian of Congress and various other people who were singularly not adept at raising money voluntarily. All the Congress was proposing to do was to provide the land on the Potomac on which the buildings would be built.

When I heard about the 70 million dollars I decided that this would be a disaster and that we'd never make a success of it. So, I asked for an appointment with the President in July of '61. I remember I waited around for a long time to see him. I had an appointment at 12 and they kept coming out and saying he was running behind and didn't I mind coming after lunch, and would it be all right if I waited and that he'd see me at about 3:30. Well, I sat around, and I finally came back at 3:30 and saw him in the Oval Room, on a beautiful sunny day, and looking out over the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, a most lovely vista.

The President came in from his bedroom, where he had

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help