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Meryl Streep brings big bucks and old jokes to National Women's History Museum fundraiser

Meryl Streep at Tuesday's dinner. (Courtesy of the National Women's History Museum)

Meryl Streep slipped into town Tuesday night to chide the government for being a little sexist -- then gave $1 million for a proposed National Women's History Museum.

"There's no women's history museum in Washington!" the star gasped in mock-astonishment to 350 guests at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. And yet, "there is a postal museum."

It's not the first time Streep, a longtime supporter of the effort, has told that joke. The Oscar winner also cracked wise about the National Postal Museum in a 2006 promotional video, prompting a very hurt letter to the editor of The Washington Post from the (female!) president of the American Philatelic Society. In fairness, Streep (in a Michael Jackson-esque military jacket) also joked about our city's textile, spy and wax museums. And clearly she feels strongly about it: Her gift, and $1 million Tuesday from pharmaceutical mogul Duane Burnham, brought the museum's starter fund to $8 million, reports our colleague Jacqueline Trescott.

Organizers want to build a permanent site near the Mall -- which would require congressional approval, plus $400 million in private funds. How did they enlist Streep? "I wrote her a letter," NWHM President Joan Wages told us Wednesday. "The truth is, it just struck a chord with her. She gets it at the center of her bones."

By The Reliable Source  | September 23, 2010; 1:02 AM ET
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Um...what about the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 5 blocks from the mall? Meryl, please do your homework.

Posted by: Mahinawai | September 23, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"Women in the arts" is not the same as "women's history."

And no, we *won't* call it "close enough" to be satisfied with just one museum, of all DC's many that are filled to bursting with celebration of men's works and arts and lives.

So glad we had this talk!

Posted by: jiji1 | September 23, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

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