On April 7, 1973, Universal executive Jennings Lang hosted a fund-raiser at his home for Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo, then on trial for their roles in leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.
The event turned out to be more than a humdrum cocktail party. Barbra Streisand performed, and agreed to sing to anyone over the phone for $3,000 a song. Guests included John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as Ringo Starr. Streisand sang "Happy Birthday" to Ellsberg, who had just turned 42. All told, according to Time, some $50,000 was raised for the defendants' legal costs.
The head fund-raiser back then, Stanley Sheinbaum, and his wife Betty, are hosting a reunion of sorts on April 7, the 35th anniversary of that event. This time it is to raise money for "The Most Dangerous Man in America," a documentary in development about Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers that is being produced and directed by Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich. Ellsberg and his wife, Patricia, are the guests of honor.
According to the invite, the "2nd Edition of the Amazing Daniel Ellsberg Birthday Party" costs $350-per-person ($1,000 per co-host), and includes "work-in-progress film clips, Dan's infamous magic tricks and, of course, birthday cake!"
The host committee is led by Streisand and her husband, James Brolin, and includes Cindy Asner, Dianna Cohen and Jackson Browne, Jodie Evans and Max Palevsky, Sheri and Richard Foos, Claire Greensfelder, Lyn and Norman Lear, Jamie and Michael Lynton, Sara Nichols, Lynda and Stewart Resnick and Marge Tabankin and Earl Katz.
The charges against Ellsberg and Russo were dismissed on the grounds of governmental misconduct --- one of many chapters in the Watergate