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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

Q:

Well, what did this commission of Lyndon Johnson's accomplish?

Lasker:

The commission has accomplished a great deal. It has gotten large industries, including Lockheed Aircraft Company, which were employing no Negroes to employ Negroes, and by getting, I think, around 60 companies to sign agreements to employ some Negroes, it's led the way to getting other companies to employ Negroes, those who are competent, or to even interview them. Before they weren't even interviewed.

Q:

This was one tangent, then, in the overall effort to achieve equal status for the colored.

Lasker:

Yes, that's right.

In addition to this, Mrs. Kennedy was interested in improving the looks of the White House. The White House had been renovated in the time of the Trumans, and the furniture was nearly all reproductions, by Sloan's, which did a rather routine kind of job. Actually I wasn't very conscious of the looks of the White House when I'd been there before because I was always concerned with the President or with whomever I was. I hadn't noticed carefully how bad it looked, but Mrs. Kennedy interested Mrs. Wrightsman in trying to make an attempt at getting original furniture of the period and redecorating the White House with beautiful objects of the period and adding fine American pictures starting about February, '61.

Mrs. Wrightsman, I remember, called me from Palm Beach



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