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Notable New     Yorkers
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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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great deal of money. Over a million dollars had been raised by a special committee on paintings, at least, oh, certainly over $500,000 has been given by various people to buy furniture and refurnish with authentic pieces of the 18th Century, and many of them around 1800.

Q:

It really struck a responsive chord then.

Lasker:

Yes, in people. And Mrs. Wrightsman herself has spent a great deal of money on the redecoration of the Blue Room and on objects for it. The gave the furniture for the Oval Room upstairs. The Dillons gave some substantial amount of money. A large number of people gave money. The Annenbergs gave the marvelous portrait of Ben Franklin by Martin, which is really one of the best Franklin portraits I've ever seen. Mrs. Mellon gave money for several 18th Century portraits of, I think, Presidents. Jim Fosdick has been very important in the raising of funds for paintings.

Well, after that, in the fall, I came back from Eurone and I was invited to the White House for a dinner for the President of the Sudan. This was terribly interesting to me because I'd never seen a very dark Negro acting as a head of state before. The President was extremely flattering in his introduction of me to the President of the Sudan, who was very surprised by what the President said because I don't think he was used to women being particularly praised or, you know, taken seriously.

In the spring of '61 the Vice President gave a



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