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Founding Fathers' homes are now nation's keepsakes, thanks to efforts of a women's charity group who raised money to rescue Mt Vernon and Monticello from ruin.

"In the bright moonlight, she saw . . . a Mount Vernon moldering into ruin, its veranda sagging, its untended lawns waist-high. 'I was painfully distressed at the ruin and desolation of the home of Washington,' Louisa Cunningham wrote to her daughter. 'It does seem such a blot on our country!' That letter set in motion an extraordinary drama of historical preservation that will seem almost incredible to the 1.1 million visitors each year who see today’s superb Mount Vernon, sparkling with reverent care and bustling not just with tourism but with world-class scholarship." -- Myron Magnet, City Journal

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