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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
July 24, 2007

Mrs. Bush's Remarks to the Press Pool After Tour of Mark Twain House and Museum
Mark Twain House
Hartford, Connecticut

12:40 P.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: Hey, everyone, thanks for coming out. I'm so thrilled to have this chance today to visit Mark Twain's house. The last time I was in Connecticut I just have not been able to make it here. And as it turned out it was perfect to be here today because today teachers from around the country are here for a week of seminars, a seminar that is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. And so I had a chance to meet these teachers. They're literature teachers and journalism teachers, history teachers, who are getting to spend an entire week here in Mark Twain's house, meeting all the most renowned Mark Twain scholars. And it's a huge thrill for them to get to be here, but it was -- I was really so happy to get to see them.

So this is a wonderful chance for me to be able to visit arguably our greatest author's home. Many scholars think that Mark Twain was the first real American writer; that most writers before Mark Twain wrote in really sort of the English novel tradition and not only was his style American, but obviously his subject was so American. So I love having the chance to be here.

There are also several other things that are interesting about the restoration of this house. One is that Save America's Treasures funded some of these rooms. Save America's Treasures is a great program that funds the restoration of specific American landscape or archives. And this house, the Mark Twain house has certainly benefited from the Save America's Treasures funds.

This morning I was in Waterbury to announce the library grant the Waterbury school district is getting. It's an Improving Libraries through Literacy grants that are part of the No Child Left Behind Act. And they're getting the only grant in this state, in Connecticut. There are a number of school districts around the country who will be receiving grants. The largest amount of money that a school district can get is $300,000, and they're getting $299,000, so I think the students of Waterbury school district will really benefit from the ways the school district will spend money on new books or technology or teacher and library training.

So that was fun to get to be here -- with our Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings; to have the chance both to visit the school district, announce those grants that go around the country, and then to get to be here in one of my favorite writer's home.

So thanks everybody, thanks for coming out to be with us.

END 12:43 P.M. EDT

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