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This Day in WWII 2 December 1939 – 1945 *1946


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BFGoodrichAd-Dec1943.jpg B.F. Goodrich Ad - December 1943

1939: Russian troops capture Petsamo in the extreme north of the Finland.

1939: The German liner Watussi is scuttled after her interception by South African Defence Force bombers.

Raquel%20Welch1.jpg **Raquel Welch

1941: Churchill introduces a new National Service Bill, including compulsory service for women.

1941: Germans patrols are just five miles from the Kremlin.

1941: Soviet troops evacuate the last territory in Karelia, taken from Finland in the 1939-1940 war.

Raquel%20Welch2.jpg Raquel Welch

1941: Hitler issues Directive No.38 which tasks Kesselring as C-in-C South, with gaining air superiority and naval supremacy over the area between southern Italy and Libya in order to deny British supplies to Malta and Libya. To assist with this, he was reinforced by Fleiger Korps II, which was transferred from Russia. This, together with the existing air units of Fleigerkorps X were to form Luftflotte 2 and give the axis a significant numerical superiority over the RAF.

1941: The Battleship Prince of Wales and the Battle Cruiser Repulse arrive in Singapore.

ExcideBatteryAd-Dec1942.jpg Excide Battery Ad - December 1942

1942: At the University of Chicago the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is realized by Professor Fermi and a team of scientists working under the name of the "Manhattan Engineering District."

1942: The Allies repel a strong Axis attack in Tunisia, North Africa.

Raquel%20Welch3.jpg Raquel Welch

1943: Allied bombers resume the 'Battle of Berlin' dropping 1,500 tons, but losing 41 aircraft.

1943: A Luftwaffe raid against the Allied naval base at Bari in Italy, hits an ammunition ship which explodes, sinking 17 other ships.

Raquel%20Welch4.jpg Raquel Welch

1943: Ernie Bevin announces the conscription to mines as coal output continues to flag in Britain.

1943: Hitler orders the conscription of German Youth for active service.

BurmaShaveAd-Dec1943.jpg Burma Shave Ad - December 1943

1943: German forces in Yugoslavia begin a major operation against Tito's partisan's.

1943: The first transport of Jews from Vienna arrives at Auschwitz.

Raquel%20Welch5.jpg Raquel Welch

1944: General George S. Patton's troops enter the Saar Valley.

1944: The British 11th East African Division takes Kalewa and advance to the Chindwin from India.

Raquel%20Welch6.jpg Raquel Welch

1945: 59 Japanese are arrested on suspicion of war crimes.

*1946: The United States and Great Britain merge their German occupation zones.

Raquel%20Welch7.jpg Raquel Welch

**A new reigning 60s international sex symbol took to the cinematic throne as soon as Raquel Welch emerged from the sea in her purposely depleted, furry prehistoric bikini. Tantalizingly wet with her garb clinging to all the right amazonian places, "One Million Years B.C." (1966), if nothing else, captured the hearts and libidos of modern men (not to mention their teenage sons) while producing THE most definitive and best-selling pin-up poster of that time. After a major dry spell following the death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962, the auburn-maned Ms. Welch effortlessly assumed Marilyn's place and forever wiped away the notion that enduring sex goddesses came only in one form -- bottled blonds.

She was born Jo Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois, the first of three children born to Bolivian Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo, an aerospace engineer, and his Irish-American wife Josephine Sarah Hall, who was the daughter of American architect Emery Stanford Hall (1869-1939) and his wife Clara Louise Adams. The family moved to San Diego, California (her father was transferred) when Raquel was only two. Taking dance lessons as a youngster, she grew up to be quite a knockout and nailed a number of teen beauty titles ("Miss Photogenic," "Miss La Jolla," "Miss Contour," "Miss Fairest of the Fair" and "Miss San Diego"). With her sights set on theater arts, she studied at San Diego State College on a scholarship starting in 1958 and married her first husband, high school sweetheart James Welch, the following year. They had two children Damon Welch (born 1960) and Tahnee Welch (born 1961). Tahnee went on to take advantage of her own stunning looks as an actress, most notably a prime featured role in "Cocoon" (1985).

Off campus Raquel became a local TV weather girl in San Diego and eventually quit college. Following the end of her marriage in 1961 (she and Welch didn't divorced until 1965), she packed up her two children and moved to Dallas, Texas, where she modeled for Neiman-Marcus and worked as a barmaid for a time. Regrouping, she returned to California, migrated to Los Angeles, and made the rounds of film/TV auditions. Providing minor but sexy set decoration on the small screen ("Bewitched" (1964), "McHale's Navy" (1962) and "The Virginian" (1962)) as well as the large (Elvis Presley's "Roustabout" (1964) and Doris Day's "Do Not Disturb" (1965)). Caught in the midst of the "beach party" craze, it's not surprising to find out that her first prime film role was "A Swingin' Summer" (1965), which concentrated more on musical guests The Righteous Brothers and Gary Lewis & The Playboys than on Raquel's outstanding contributions. But 20th Century Fox certainly took notice and signed her up

Raquel%20Welch8.jpg Raquel Welch

With her very first film under contract (actually, she was on loan out to Britain's Hammer Studios at the time), she took on the remake of "One Million B.C." (1940) in the Carole Landis role and the rest is history. Raquel remained an international celebrity in her first few years of stardom. In England, she was quite revealing as the deadly sin representing "lust" for the comedy team of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in their vehicle "Bedazzled" (1967), and as the title secret agent in the sexy spy spoof "Fathom" (1967). In Italy, she gained some exposure in primarily mediocre vehicles opposite such heartthrobs as Marcello Mastroianni. Back in the U.S., however, she caused quite a stir in her ground-breaking sex scenes with black athlete Jim Brown in the "spaghetti western" "100 Rifles" (1969), and as the transgendered title role in the unfathomable "Myra Breckinridge" (1970). Adapted from Gore Vidal novel, she created some unwelcome notoriety by locking horns with aging diva Mae West on the set. The instant cult movie was a laughingstock to all concerned and certainly didn't help Raquel's attempt at being taking seriously as an actress.

Box office bombs abounded. Try as she might in such films as "Kansas City Bomber" (1972) and "The Wild Party" (1975), which drew some good reviews for her, her sexy typecast gave her little room to breathe. With determination, however, she partly offset this with modest supporting roles in larger ensemble pieces. She showed definite spark and won a Golden Globe for the swashbuckler "The Three Musketeers: The Queen's Diamonds" (1973), and appeared to good advantage in the mystery thriller "The Last of Sheila" (1973). She planned on making a comeback in "Cannery Row" (1982), even agreeing to appear topless (which she had never done before), but was suddenly fired during production without notice. She sued MGM for breach of contract and ultimately won a $15 million settlement, but it didn't help her film career and only helped to label her as trouble on a set. TV movies became a positive milieu for Raquel as she developed sound vehicles for herself such as "The Legend of Walks Far Woman" (1982) (TV) and "Right to Die" (1987) (TV). She also found a lucrative avenue pitching beauty products in infomercials and developing exercise videos à la Jane Fonda.

Raquel took advantage of her modest singing and dancing abilities by performing in splashy Las Vegas showrooms and starring in such plausible stage vehicles as "Woman of the Year" and "Victor/Victoria." Still a dazzler broaching age 70, Raquel continues to show up here and there and still can turn heads. She has even spoofed her own diva image on occasion, most memorably on "Seinfeld". More recently she has co-starred in the Hispanic-oriented TV series "American Family" (2002) and in the short-lived comedy "Welcome to the Captain" (2008), and appeared in the movies "Tortilla Soup" (2001), "Legally Blonde" (2001) and "Forget About It" (2006). She is separated from her fourth husband Richard Palmer, who is 15 years her junior.


Measurements: 37C-22 1/2-35 1/2 (measured in 1967), 37-23 1/2-35 1/2 (from 1980 fitting), 37D-26-36 (@ age 43 in 1985), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)


Richard Palmer (17 July 1999 - present) (separated)

André Weinfeld (5 July 1980 - 1990) (divorced)

Patrick Curtis (14 February 1967 - September 1972) (divorced)

James Westley Welch (8 May 1959 - 1964) (divorced) 2 children

Auditioned for the role of Mary Ann in "Gilligan's Island" (1964).

AllisChalmersAd-Dec1943.jpg Allis-Chalmers Ad - December 1943

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