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This Day in WWII 26 December 1939 - 1944


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ParkeDavisAd-Dec1942.jpg Parke, Davis & Company Ad - December 1942

1939: The first squadron of Australian airmen arrives in Britain.

Marie%20McDonald1.jpg *Marie McDonald

1941: Churchill addresses Joint Session of Congress and receives a rousing ovation, but says allied offensive must wait until 1943.

1941: The Russians land on the Kerch Peninsula in an attempt to relieve the siege of Sevastopol.

Marie%20McDonald2.jpg Marie McDonald

1941: Japanese troops cross the river Perak. The Japanese commander General Yamashita, senses that British resistance is weakening in Malaya and is determined to push home his advantage and not allow the British any time to reorganize themselves. This he does by forcing the British troops back down the coast roads until he reaches a defensive position and then outflanks it through the jungle.

1941: General Douglas MacArthur declares Manila an open city in the face of the onrushing Japanese Army.

Marie%20McDonald3.jpg Marie McDonald

1942: The Russians continue their advance on the southern front and claim 56,000 prisoners taken in middle Don region.

1942: The French authorities execute Admiral Darlan's assassin.

Marie%20McDonald4.jpg Marie McDonald

1943: Ordered to sail to the Barents Sea and destroy the allied convoy JW-55B bound for the Soviet port of Murmansk, the German battle-cruiser Scharnhorst encounters a protective force of the British Home Fleet consisting of the cruisers HMS Belfast, Duke of York, Jamaica and Norfolk. After a fierce action, Scharnhorst is sunk, with only 36 of her crew of 1,839 surviving.

1943: US Marines make further landings on New Britain, either side of Cape Gloucester.

ACSparkPlugsAd-Dec1944.jpg AC Spark Plugs Ad - December 1944

1944: Eight French Gestapo leaders are executed in Paris. Bastogne is relieved by the U.S. 4th Armored Division.

Marie%20McDonald5.jpg Marie McDonald

*Marie McDonald, born Cora Marie Frye on July 6, 1923 in Burgin, Kentucky, was a leggy, voluptuous blonde starlet who pursued her career with a vengeance but found little reward in the end. Her mother was a former Ziegfeld girl and her grandmother an operatic singer. Her father, on the other hand, was not so artistically inclined, earning a living as a warden at Leavenworth Prison. Her parents divorced when Marie was just 6 years old. Marie's mother remarried and the new family moved to Yonkers, New York, where she attended Roosevelt High School and excelled in piano and wrote for the school newspaper.

Although Marie was offered a college scholarship by Columbia University in journalism, Marie's impressive beauty and physical assets propelled her to try a show business career. A Powers model at 15 (she lied about her age), she quit high school and started entering beauty contests, winning the "Miss Yonkers" and "The Queen of Coney Island" titles, among others. In 1939 she was crowned "Miss New York," but subsequently lost at the "Miss America" pageant.

The attention she received from her beauty titles, however, pointed her straight to the Broadway stage and the "George White's Scandals of 1939." This in turn led to her move to Los Angeles, finding work in the chorus line while trying to break into pictures. She found her first singing work with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra on his radio show and eventually joined other bands as well. Although Universal signed her up, she couldn't get past a few one-line jobs. She knew publicity would have to be her mode of operation if she was to draw the necessary attention and advance her career. During World War II, McDonald became one of Hollywood's most popular pin-up girls and she posed for the United States military magazine, YANK. In 1942 Marie joined the Hollywood Victory Caravan. She toured the country selling war bonds with Cary Grant and Bing Crosby.

Press agents dubbed Marie "The Body" and the tag eventually stuck. Though her physical attributes were impressive, her talent was less so. Managing to come her way were the films "Guest in the House" (1944), "Living in a Big Way" (1947) with Gene Kelly and "Tell It to the Judge" (1949). Marie was once in contention for the Billie Dawn role in "Born Yesterday," which could have been her big break, but she lost out to Judy Holliday. The audience simply didn't latch on to Marie and she ended up more on the road doing bus-and-truck shows than anything else.

Marie%20McDonald6.jpg Marie McDonald

Despite a plethora of tabloid attention, which included her seven marriages and numerous sex scandals in addition to the publicity hijinks she managed to muster up, notoriety that would have made the late Jayne Mansfield envious, Marie's career eventually stalled and she turned to drink, drugs and despair. This led to frequent skirmishes with the law and more than a few nervous breakdowns. Her last effective role was in the Jerry Lewis starrer "The Geisha Boy" (1958) where she gamely played a snippy movie star at the mercy of the comedian's outrageous slapstick.

On October 21, 1965 (aged 42) at Calabasas, California, the never-say-die gal finally decided enough was enough and she ended it all with an overdose of Percodan. She was laid to rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Three months after McDonald's death, her sixth husband Donald F. Taylor, who was a producer had occasionally acted under the name Don Taylor, committed suicide in January 1966. McDonald's three surviving children were raised by Harry Karl and his wife, Debbie Reynolds.


Measurements: 36 1/2 - 22 1/2 - 35

Height: 5' 6"

Nickname: The Body


Donald F. Taylor (1 November 1963 - 21 October 1965) (her death)

Edward F. Callahan (6 August 1962 - 5 September 1963) (annulled)

Louis Bass (23 May 1959 - 8 April 1960) (divorced)

Harry Karl (June 1955 - 16 April 1958) (divorced) 1 child

Harry Karl (19 September 1947 - 23 November 1954) (divorced) 2 children

Victor M. Orsatti (10 January 1943 - May 1947) (divorced)

Richard Allord (1940 - 1940) (annulled)

Married seven times, twice to Harry Karl, the shoe tycoon who went on to marry Debbie Reynolds and lose both his and her fortunes.

After several miscarriages, she adopted two children, Denise "Dede" and Harrison "Bo", between the years 1951-1954. A daughter, Tina Marie, was born later in 1956.

She died of a drug overdose because there was air in the needle that was injected into her. Her husband was charged with murder, but he killed himself two days after she died.

Harry Karl, the father of her three children, did not want the children after Marie died. His wife at the time, Debbie Reynolds, insisted they move in with him anyway.

In one of her many publicity stunts, police reports state that Marie was found on a desert road in her pajamas ranting and raving that she had been kidnapped from her home by two men.

Was the model used by illustrator Alex Raymond for the Dale Arden and Princess Aura creations for the Flash Gordon comic strip.

Marie had naturally dark brown hair and green eyes.

NorthAmericanAviationAd-Dec1945.jpg North American Aviation Ad - December 1945

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ParkeDavisAd-Dec1942.jpg Parke, Davis & Company Ad

So I'm looking at this vintage ad and thinking about all the lives that have been saved through blood transfusions. I'm also thinking about how it can be difficult to safely store blood and all the diseases that can be transmitted through blood transfusions. With our advanced technology, why have we not invented a safe, artificial blood? It turns out that an artificial blood that is safe and effective may have been invented. If you can believe The Daily Fail, you can read the story by clicking the link.


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Yeah, strange coincidence indeed. Then again, the source is The Daily Fail, which does not seem to far removed from sources such as The National Inquirer. If it is true, this will revolutionize medical care since this would be a sterile product and a truly universal recipient blood product.

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