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This Day in WWII 22 November 1939 - 1944


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Yank Magazine Pin Up Girls Edition Cover Featuring Eve Whitney, Elaine Shepard, Helen O'Hara, Kay Booth and Noreen Roth - January 26, 1945

 

1939: German aircraft parachute mines in to the Thames Estuary.

 

1940: Greeks defeat the Italian 9th Army.

 

Shirley%20Jones1.jpg *Shirley Jones

 

1941: All operational U-boats ordered to proceed to the Mediterranean or its approach.

 

1941: The 3rd Panzer Korps captures Rostov-on-Don.

 

Shirley%20Jones2.jpg Shirley Jones

 

1941: A confused battle continues around Sidi Rezegh, with XXX Corps being forced to stop it advance towards Tobruk after the loss of many tanks and for the Tobruk break-out to be halted. Better news for XIII Corps though as it captures Sidi Omar and Capuzzo.

 

Shirley%20Jones3.jpg Shirley Jones

 

1942: The Soviet 4th Mechanised Corps from the south and the 4th Tank Corps from the north, join hands at Kalach on the Don, thus establishing the complete encirclement of the 300,000 men of 6th and 4th Panzer Army's. The Russians report gains of up to 50 mites south of Stalingrad.

 

StudebakerAd-Nov1943.jpg Studebaker Ad - November 1943

 

1943: The RAF give Berlin the worst pounding so far, with more than 2,300 tons of bombs dropped in less than 30 minutes for the loss of just 26 planes.

 

1943: German troops complete the occupation of the islands of the Dodecanese in the eastern Mediterranean.

 

1943: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss measures for defeating Japan.

 

Shirley%20Jones4.jpg Shirley Jones

 

1944: The RAF make a second breach in the Dortmund-Ems Canal.

 

1944: Fighting in Metz is over but seven forts still hold out.

 

Shirley%20Jones5.jpg Shirley Jones

*Shirley Mae Jones was born on March 31, 1934 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, to Methodist parents Marjorie (née Williams), a strict, strong-minded homemaker, and Paul Jones, owners of the Jones Brewing Company. An only child, she was named after Shirley Temple. The family later moved to nearby Smithton, Pennsylvania. Jones could sing almost as soon as she could speak. Encouraged by her summer camp counselors, her family arranged for teen-aged Shirley to study twice a week, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the world-renowned singer and teacher, Ralph Lawando. Afterwards, she frequently joined her father for a show at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, where she fell in love with the musical theatre.

In New York City, she was convinced to sing for a Broadway agent, Gus Sherman. Sherman was pleased to put Jones under contract, and with her parents' approval, she resettled in New York City and gave herself one year to become a Broadway performer. She only had $100 in her pocket. If she did not succeed, she would move back to Smithton and work as a veterinarian. Her first audition was for a replacement chorus girl in the long-running musical, "South Pacific". Rodgers and Hammerstein, writers of South Pacific, saw great potential in Jones. She became the first and only singer to be put under personal contract with the songwriters. The duo cast her in her second Broadway show, "Me and Juliet". On tour, she understudied the lead and earned rave reviews.

Jones impressed Rodgers and Hammerstein with her musically trained voice and she was cast as the female lead in the film adaptation of their hit musical "Oklahoma!" in 1955. Other film musicals quickly followed, including "Carousel", "April Love" (1957) and "The Music Man", in which she was often typecast as a wholesome, kind character. However, she won a 1960 Academy Award for her performance in Elmer Gantry portraying a woman corrupted by the title character played by Burt Lancaster. Her character becomes a prostitute who encounters her seducer years later and takes her revenge. She was reunited with Ron Howard (who had played a role in The Music Man) in "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1963). Jones landed the role of a lady who fell in love with the professor in "Fluffy" (1965). In addition, she also has an impressive stage résumé, including playing the title character in the Broadway musical "Maggie Flynn" in 1968.

Shirley%20Jones6.jpg Shirley Jones

In 1970, after her film roles dwindled, and after turning down the role of Carol Brady on "The Brady Bunch", which role ultimately went to Florence Henderson, Jones was more than happy to be the producers' first choice to audition for the lead role of Shirley Partridge in "The Partridge Family", an ABC sitcom based on the real-life musical family The Cowsills. The series focused on a young widowed mother whose five children form a pop rock group after the entire family painted its signature bus to travel. She was convinced that the combination of music and comedy would be a surefire hit. Jones realized, however, that:

  Quote

"The problem with Partridgethough it was great for me and gave me an opportunity to stay home and raise my kidswhen my agents came to me and presented it to me, they said if you do a series and it becomes a hit show, you will be that character for the rest of your life and your movie career will go into the toilet, which is what happened. But I have no regrets."

During its first season, it became a hit and was screened in over 70 countries. Within months, Jones and her co-stars were pop culture television icons. Her real-life twenty-year-old stepson David Cassidy, who was an unknown actor at the time, played Shirley Partridge's eldest son, Keith, and became the hottest teen idol in the country. The show itself also spawned a number of records and songs performed by David and Shirley. That same year, "I Think I Love You" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart.

While enjoying playing Shirley Partridge, Jones was in a real-life crisis with her emotionally troubled husband. By 1974, the ratings had sunk low, David Cassidy finally had had enough of playing Keith Partridge, and one of his teenage fans had died of heart failure from injuries sustained while attending one of his concerts. The Partridge Family was dropped from the prime-time lineup after four seasons and 96 episodes. Though Jones was outraged about the series' cancellation, she held the show together. In fact, it was one of six series to be canceled that year (along with Room 222, The F.B.I., The Brady Bunch, Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, and Here's Lucy) to make room for new shows.

Shirley Jones' friendship with David Cassidy's family began in the mid to late 1950s, when David was just six, after he learned about his father's divorce from his mother Evelyn Ward. Upon David's first meeting with Shirley before co-starring with her on The Partridge Family, he said, "The day he tells me that they're divorced, he tells me, 'We're remarried, and let me introduce you to my new wife.'

On August 5, 1956, Jones married the actor Jack Cassidy, with whom she had three sons, Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan. David Cassidy, Jack's only child from his first marriage to actress Evelyn Ward, became her stepson. Divorcing Cassidy in 1974, she later married comic/actor Marty Ingels on November 13, 1977. Despite drastically different personalities and several separations (she filed, then withdrew, a divorce petition in 2002), they remained married.

She was best friends with her late co-star Gordon MacRae and his ex-wife Sheila, and he was the godfather of her first son, Shaun Cassidy. She also admitted that she had a crush on Gordon when she was young and was starstruck when she worked opposite him on "Oklahoma!". She is also the one who convinced MacRae to take the part as Billy Bigelow in "Carousel" when Frank Sinatra, who had originally been cast, suddenly dropped out during the first days of filming. According to Jones, Sinatra left because he'd been outraged that the director asked for an additional take on a scene, shouting "Am I being paid twice for this??"

Her father, Paul, underwent surgery for lung cancer in 1958 but died within days.

Jones is a registered Republican who appeared at the 1988 Republican Convention and sang the national anthem. She also sang at the 2003 lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., at President George W. Bush's request.

Jones and Shaun Cassidy are the only mother and son to each have a song reach number one on the Billboard Charts. Jones hit #1 with The Partridges' "I Think I Love You" in 1970 (sung with stepson David Cassidy). Shaun followed that in 1977 with "Da Do Ron Ron."

On the evening of December 11, 1976, after Jones had refused an offer of reconciliation from Jack Cassidy, she received news that her ex-husband's penthouse apartment was in flames. Apparently, the fire started from his lit cigarette while he was falling asleep on the couch. The next morning, the firefighters found Cassidy's dead body inside.

In 1979, The National Enquirer ran a story about Jones's consumption of alcoholic beverages and her second husband's erratic behavior. Together they filed a $20 million lawsuit that dragged on until 1984 when the tabloid agreed to a retraction and an out-of-court settlement.

Jones and Ingels wrote an autobiography based on their quirky relationship/marriage, Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story.

Jones is the grandmother of eight: Caitlin, Jake, Juliet, Caleb, Roan, and Lila Cassidy, from son Shaun Cassidy, and Cole and Jack, from son Patrick Cassidy. She's also the stepgrandmother of two: Katie and Beau Cassidy, from stepson and former Partridge Family co-star, David Cassidy.

TRIVIA:

Measurements: 34-21-35 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 5 1/2" (1.66 m)

Winner of the 1952 Miss Pittsburgh Pageant

Miss Pennsylvania 1952 first runner-up; her prize was a two year scholarship to the drama school at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

StudebakerAd-Nov1944.jpg Studebaker Ad - November 1944

 
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