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The Fresh Air Fund’s complicated racial record

New York City’s Fresh Air Fund has sent city kids, most of them low-income, to suburban and rural neighborhoods for two-week summer vacations for the past 140 years. Originally intended to restore malnourished, sickly and white immigrant children to health, the fund expanded its mission in the 1960s to focus on – as director Frederick Lewis put it in 1969 – “bridge-building and unifying” across racial lines.

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