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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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chair a Presidential White House Conference on the Preservation of Natural Beauty, in May.

This is absolutely a revolution. As I said before, no President of the United States that I recall has ever mentioned natural beauty, or beauty of any kind, in any official documents or speeches, and certainly has never called a conference on how to preserve natural beauty nor encouraged the idea of landscaping Federal highways in a message, nor ever called attention to the fact that America, the Beautiful is largely America, the Ugly, and mostly man-made ugliness. This is the most revolutionary and freshest idea of the Johnson administration, don't you agree? The war on poverty was started by Kennedy and is being energetically followed by Johnson. Johnson is also energetically increasing support for education of all kinds, and this had been started by Kennedy. But Kennedy made no effort in this area at all, nor has any previous President.

Q:

It would have seemed a natural for a man like Kennedy.

LASKER:

Yes. Well, it's really astonishing that this has gotten under way. If anyone had said this would happen, people would have laughed uproariously. It's now taken very seriously.

The meeting started with a charming statement from Mrs. Johnson about the importance of beauty in the country. I would



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