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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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When I told Hill that the President was going to call him about it, he said, “That'll be the day! I should live so long.” He was indeed right. Kennedy never called him. But I had really gone to see him because I didn't want to have any real trouble about the increases the Senate was going to make on the research appropriations for the National Institutes, especially for cancer and heart disease and mental illness. They made the increases, and the President signed it anyway, so it was all right.

As I came out of the Oval Room with the President, Schlesinger, Bundy and I think Sorenson were waiting for him. I remember how bright-eyed and alert they all looked. They all greeted me with enthusiasm.

At any rate, in the spring of '61, I got a telephone call when I was in California. I was eating lunch in Romanoff's Restaurant with my stepson, and I was told that the Johnson Moving Company wanted to speak with me, or something of that kind. I said, “Well, you must be mistaken. I don't know anybody like that and there's no reason why any company like that would want to speak to me. Get the name correctly, please.” They came back and they said, “It's a Mr. Johnson.” I said, “Is it Vice President Johnson?” Well, they weren't sure.

I went to the phone, and it was indeed the Vice President, who said to me, “I want you to go on my Commission for Equal Employment Opportunities, which is a commission that is going to be appointed by the President, and we're going to try to see that

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