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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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And he said, “No, I'm going to be in charge of it myself.” That didn't reassure me, because I knew that he wouldn't have time enough to be in charge of it.

Then Mrs. Johnson spoke to me again, and she said, “If you have any ideas of things that I should do, tell me,” and I said, “Oh, fine. I will.” This made me think about what I would try to do if I were in her position, and I asked for an appointment for about the middle of November, to talk to her about possibilities for the inauguration. I have a list of what I suggested. Have you got that?

Most of these things I think will not have taken place, but I suggested -- and here's the memo -- that for the inauguration of President Johnson in 1965 there was a need to make it memorable, and different from other inaugurations, to mark the beginning of his Great Society.

I suggested that the Inauguration ceremcies have a poem written for them, perhaps by Robert Lowell or another American poet; that a march be especially composed, to be played; that a song be especially composed by Richard Rogers or Richard Adler; that a symphony be composed by Copeland or others. I doubt that any of this has taken place, and I hope that in the next inauguration of the Johnsons it will be done. There will probably be more time for preparation.

I suggested that leading photographers and painters be invited to come to the ceremony and make sketches and take photographs, and even possibly invite Marc Chagall, as one of the greatest living painters, to come to the Inauguration.

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