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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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a few million dollars on the Potomac, but it didn't provide quite all the land, and it provided no money for building. A plan was developed by Ed Stone and his office which was to cost $76 million; and when I was appointed on the board in the spring of '61, I went to a meeting and found that less than $2 million had been raised toward this $76 million plan. I looked at the people around the table--and there were many of them federal officials, and there was only one person that had any likelihood of doing anything, it seemed to me, and that was a man called Corrin Strong, who had already given a million dollars toward fund-raising, and it looked to me as though the money was going to be used up and very little in the way of funds was going to be raised. There was an executive director who was a bureaucrat, who had no idea of how to raise money or was not a promoter of anything. In fact, he would drive anybody away from anything that he was connected with. And I felt very nervous about this because I hated to be connected with anything that was sure to be a failure, that Kennedy would think somehow or another should have been accomplished when it was really impossible of accomplishment on that scale.

I went to see him in June or July of '63 and I think I've described this meeting. I came to see him in the Oval Room on the second floor of the White House after he had been

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