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This Day in WWII 13 August 1940 - 1945

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OldsmobileAd-August1943.jpgOldsmobile Ad - August 1943

 

1940: Roosevelt agrees to supply 50 First World War destroyers to Britain in return for the lease of naval bases in the Caribbean. Colonel E.L.M. Burns proposes developing a Canadian parachute force. The idea is rejected by the Director of Military Operations in headquarters.

 

Ann%20Sothern1.jpg *Ann Sothern

 

1940: 'Eagle Day', the first day of the maximum offensive by the Luftwaffe to destroy RAF airfields and gain air supremacy over England in preparation of Operation Sea Lion. The Luftwaffe launches 1,485 sorties, but because of confusion and delays, the main attacks were not mounted until the afternoon. Some airfields were attacked, but not the primary fighter bases. Luftwaffe losses were heavy with 39 aircraft being lost (mainly Ju-87 Stuka's), while the RAF lost just 15 aircraft. Twelve RAF Blenheim bombers attack Hemsteds airfield in Holland. Only one plane returns.

 

Ann%20Sothern2.jpg Ann Sothern

 

1940: An air crash in Canberra kills three UAP ministers and Chief of the Australian General Staff.

 

OldsmobileAd-August1944.jpg Oldsmobile Ad - August 1944

 

1942: Montgomery takes command of Eighth Army, two days early.

 

Ann%20Sothern3.jpg Ann Sothern

 

1945: The Mongolian People's Republic declares a Holy War against the Japanese.

 

1945: Surrender documents are sent to MacArthur in Philippines.

 

Ann%20Sothern4.jpg Ann Sothern

*Ann Sothern, born Harriet Lake on January 22,1909 in Valley City, North Dakota, and her film career started as an extra-bit part in the film "Broadway Nights" in 1927. She would work as an extra for the next six years. It barely paid the bills. Finally, Ann got her break with Columbia Pictures when they signed her to a contract in 1934. Her first role for Columbia was in the film "The Party's Over" (1934). The work was getting better and a bit more lucrative as she would be in 11 movies in 1934 and 1935. It wasn't riches but it was better than being just an extra. The films weren't much to write home about either. Ann was dropped by Columbia in 1936 and she signed with RKO Pictures. With RKO, she played in a number of forgettable productions such as "Dangerous Number" (1937) and "She's Got Everything" (1937). Ann left RKO two years later and played Jean Livingstone in "Trade Winds" (1938) which landed her a contract with MGM. In 1939, Ann starred in" Maisie" (1939) which would turn into a series of ten films with the last being "Undercover Maisie" in 1947. In between, she starred in such movies as "Dulcy" (1940), "Thousands Cheer" (1943) and "Three Hearts for Julia" (1943). During the 1950's, she played in only four films. By this time, however, Ann had turned to the relatively new medium--television, where she would attract legions of new fans. In 1953, Ann played the role of Susie in "Private Secretary" (1953), which ran until 1957. The quality and comedy was quite good, but, unfortunately, it doesn't run anywhere in syndicated re-runs. In 1958, she starred in "The Ann Sothern Show" (1958), as Katy O'Connor, which ran until 1961.

Previously a beauty, Sothern had a bout of hepatitis which left her with a bloated, overweight appearance; so she preferred not to be seen. In addition, she suffered an injury to her back after a fall during a stage production which left her disabled. In 1965, she was heard as the voice of Gladys Crabtree (the car) in the short-lived series "My Mother the Car", which co-starred Jerry Van Dyke. That year she appeared in the title role of "The Widow Fay" episode of ABC's western series "The Legend of Jesse James", starring Christopher Jones in the title role of the outlaw Jesse James.

During this period, Sothern made occasional guest appearances on "The Lucy Show" with her old RKO and MGM cohort, Lucille Ball. After Vivian Vance left the show, Sothern was considered to replace Vance. In 1967 her former boss Desi Arnaz approached her to co-star with Eve Arden as battling neighbors in "The Mothers-in-Law". However, NBC felt that Sothern's style was too similar to Arden's.

Ann%20Sothern5.jpg Ann Sothern

She resumed working sporadically on television until the mid-1980s, including a remake of her earlier success "A Letter to Three Wives". Her final film role was in "The Whales of August" in 1987. Her role as the neighbor of elderly sisters, played by Lillian Gish and Bette Davis, brought Sothern her only Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination.

Sothern was married to actor Roger Pryor from 1936 until May 17, 1943. Less than a week after her divorce, she married actor Robert Sterling. The couple had one daughter, actress Tisha Sterling, before divorcing six years later. In 1987, Sothern retired from acting and moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where she spent her remaining years. On March 15, 2001, Sothern died from heart failure at 92.

TRIVIA:

Height: 5' 1 1/2" (1.56 m)

A singer in her early career, she sang with Artie Shaw's band among others. She was also a published songwriter and recorded two albums.

OldsmobileAd-August1945.jpg Oldsmobile Ad - August 1945

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