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This Day in WWII 21 March 1940 - 1945


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PennsylvaniaRR-March1943.jpg Pennsylvania Railroad Ad - March 1943

1940: Paul Reynaud becomes Prime Minister of France, with Edouard Daladier being made Minister of Defence and War.

1941: The last Italian post in East Libya, North Africa, falls to the British.

ArleneDahl.jpg *Arlene Dahl

1942: In a repeat of Force H's mission on the 7th March 1942. Sixteen more Spitfires are delivered to Malta. The Axis, now aware of the large British supply convoy sailing towards Malta, dispatch Admiral Iachino from Taranto with the Battleship Littorio and 4 destroyers. Admiral Parona also sets sail from Messina with 3 cruisers and 4 destroyers.

1943: Hitler breaks his four-month silence with a Hero's Day speech in Berlin. He admits to his audience that the German army has lost nearly half a million men in the Soviet campaign, but he assures the crowd that the Russian front is now "stable."

Arlene%20Dahl2.jpg Arlene Dahl

1945: The US 8th Air Force launches a major attack (650 bombers) against Hamburg.

1945: Units of the U.S. First Army advances from the Remagen bridgehead toward Siegburg.

Arlene%20Dahl3.jpg Arlene Dahl

1945: The Russians captures Stuhlweissenburg in Hungary.

Arlene%20Dahl4.jpg Arlene Dahl

*Dahl was born on August 11, 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of Idelle (née Swan) and Rudolph S. Dahl, a Ford motor dealer and executive. She is of Norwegian descent. After graduating from Washburn High School, she held various jobs, including performing in a local drama group and briefly working as a model for department stores. Dahl's mother was involved in the theater. As a child she took elocution and dancing lessons and acted in local amateur theater. She was active in theatrical events at Margaret Fuller Elementary School, Ramsey Junior High School and Washburn Senior High School. Dahl briefly attended the University of Minnesota.

Dahl was voted the Rheingold Beer Girl of 1946. The Rheingold ad campaign was one of the most famous campaigns of one of the most popular beers in New York from the 1940s through the 1950s. There was a Miss Rheingold contest each year, and by the early 1950s, more than 25 million votes were cast annually. The winner received a cash payment as well as a modeling contract and many other opportunities. The first winner, Jinx Falkenburg, had a long career on radio. Other winners were Tippi Hedren, Hope Lange and Grace Kelly.

She began her acting career in 1947. She reached the peak of her popularity and success in the 1950s. Some of her best films include: "Reign of Terror" (1949), "Three Little Words" (1950), "Woman's World" (1954), "Slightly Scarlet" (1956), and "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959).

Arlene%20Dahl5.jpg Arlene Dahl

Dahl met actor Lex Barker in the early 1950s, and on April 16, 1951, Dahl and Barker wed. A year later she and Barker divorced, and Dahl would go on to marry another matinee idol, Fernando Lamas. Barker went on to marry Lana Turner. In 1958 Dahl and Lamas had their only son, Lorenzo Lamas. Shortly after giving birth to Lorenzo, Dahl slowed and eventually ended her career as an actress, although she still appeared in movies and on television occasionally. Dahl would go on to work as a beauty columnist and as a writer.

Dahl and Lamas divorced in 1960, and Dahl later remarried. Aside from Lorenzo Lamas, Dahl has two other children: a daughter Christina (born August 3, 1961) by third husband Christian R. Holmes, and a second son, Rousevelle Andreas (born December 8, 1970), by her fifth husband Rousevelle W. Schaum. She has 6 grandchildren and divides her time between New York City and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Arlene Dahl was both a mystery guest and a panelist on the TV Game show "What's My Line". She appeared on the ABC television network's soap opera "One Life to Live" as Lucinda Schenck Wilson from 1981 to 1984. Lucinda was planned to be a short-termed role, but she was later offered a one-year contract to appear on the show. The last film in which she appeared, which followed a hiatus of more than 20 years, was the 1991 film, "Night of the Warrior", which starred her son, Lorenzo Lamas.


Measurements: 35-22 1/2-35 (starlet 1950), 38-25-37 (as a self-proclaimed "Size 10" in 1976) (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)


Marc Rosen (30 July 1984 - present)

Rounsevelle W. Schaum (7 December 1969 - 1976) (divorced) 1 child

Alexis Lichine (23 December 1964 - 1969) (divorced)

Chris Holmes (15 October 1960 - 13 October 1964) (divorced) 1 child

Fernando Lamas (25 June 1954 - 1960) (divorced) 1 child

Lex Barker (16 April 1951 - 15 October 1952) (divorced)

PennsylvaniaRailroad-March1944.jpg Pennsylvania Railroad Ad - March 1944

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During WW I and WW II, the vast majority of men and war materiel were moved to seaports by rail, then from seaports to depots by rail. Trucks and aircraft were used for shorter hauls or when rail transit was not possible. During 1944, when the Allies had turned the tide of the war, the railroads began to promise the public a wonderful rail transportation system would be available to them after the war. The railroads were so heavily used in WW II that by the conclusion of the war, the rails, ties, roadbed and even the rolling stock were completely worn out. Motor vehicle travel was becoming more popular and the government created the interstate highway system. Airline travel surged and travel by rail was looked upon as slow and obsolete. Railroad passenger traffic lost any profitability, freight hauling was the sole source of good revenue, but trucks had eaten into that market. Many railroads had competed with each other with parallel lines, the result was market over-saturation and the railroads declined rapidly, many going into bankruptcy.

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There may be a comeback. For trips of <500 miles, I tend to take the train these days as air travel is just too unpleasant. This is even in countries where the track route was laid out in the 1800s and the top speed is limited to 125mph or so.

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