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Mary Easley Donates Two Inaugural Gowns To Museum Of History

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's First Lady Mary Easley today announced that her two inaugural gowns will be donated to the N.C. Museum of History. The gowns that she wore to the 2001 and 2005 Inaugural Balls will be part of the current exhibit, "A State of Change: North Carolina and its Governors."

"I am pleased to provide a piece of history for display in this impressive exhibit, and for future generations to enjoy," said Easley. "These artifacts help place North Carolina's governors and their spouses within the context of the era that they lived. This will enable citizens to gain a better perspective into the history of our state and its leaders."

The First Lady's 2005 Inaugural Ball gown is a champagne, Empire styled, full-length gown made of satin, accented with a quilted band at the bodice that flows into a side-tied sash. The gown was created by international designer Peter Langner, who has worked for such fashion houses as Ungaro, Christian Dior and Guy Laroche. Easley also wore a pair of Italian oyster satin evening shoes designed by Anne Klein. The donation of the gown and shoes is made possible by Saks Fifth Avenue.

The First Lady is donating the gown and shoes worn to the 2001 Inaugural Ball to the museum. The Maria Pinto gown has a garnet-sequined sleeveless top with a silk velvet skirt.

The "State of Change: North Carolina and Its Governors" exhibit is free and open to the public through Jan. 29. More than 20 inaugural gowns from various First Ladies are currently on display. More than 300 artifacts, portraits and photographs reveal the many dimensions of First Family life and the evolution of the Tar Heel State through its governors.

The N.C. Museum of History is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about the exhibit, contact the Museum of History at 919-807-7900.

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