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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 29, 2001

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Opening of the Mark Twain Symposium
The East Room

Opening comments, Ford's Theatre production of "Mark Twain Tonight"

Thank you, Mr. President, for that wonderful introduction.

Good evening, and welcome to the performance of "Mark Twain Tonight!"

I'm thrilled. Thank you all for being here.

Tonight is the eve of Mark Twain's birthday. He was born 166 years ago, on November 30th, 1835. As you'll discover tonight, his words and wit are as appropriate today as they were when they were written.

Hosting the Mark Twain Symposium, Laura Bush sits with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns in the East Room Nov. 29, 2001.   White House photo by Susan SternerFord's Theatre is a national treasure and a fitting venue for a performance of America's most treasured storyteller.

Thanks to Frankie Hewitt (of Ford's Theatre) and to Dick Thompson (of Bristol-Meyers-Squibb) for making this evening possible.

Tonight we are joined by students from four area schools. Thank you for coming.

Mark Twain once said, "Don't explain your author; read him right and he explains himself."

Tonight we have a different sort of luxury, because we'll see Mark Twain explain himself in his own words, through his own stories, on this very stage.

So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, here is "Mark Twain Tonight."

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