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This Day in WWII 24 December 1939 - 1944


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SchenleyDistillersAd-Dec1942.jpgSchenley Distillers Ad - December 1942


1939: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas appeal for peace.


1940: London celebrates the holidays, despite the war. A sign in the downtown district reads: "Christmas is 1,940 years old, and Hitler is only fifty-one. The can't spoil our Christmas."


Marilyn%20Monroe1.jpg *Marilyn Monroe


1941: The Avro Lancaster enters service with No. 44 Sqn at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. It isn't until 3 March 1942 that the Lancaster makes its operational debut.


1941: Bengazi reoccupied by the British.


Marilyn%20Monroe2.jpg Marilyn Monroe


1941: Japanese troops make further landings on Luzon to the southeast of Manila in Lamon Bay. The Japanese 16th Division starts its drive north towards Manila in an attempt to link up with the North Luzon Force. General MacArthur announces his decision to withdraw his forces to Bataan. A supply base is to be setup on Corregidor with sufficient stock to carry on the fight for 6 months.


Marilyn%20Monroe3.jpg Marilyn Monroe


1942: Following the suspension of 'Operation Winter Tempest', the relief of Stalingrad, the Red Army begins an offensive against Army Group Don toward Kotelnikovo, breaking through the lines of 4th Romanian Army.


1942: Admiral Darlan is assassinated by a young Frenchman in Algiers.


1942: US bomb Wake Island.


GoodyearAd-Dec1944.jpg Goodyear Ad - December 1944


1943: Commanders of 'Second Front' are announced as Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force; Montgomery to be C in C of 21st Army Group.


1943: The Russians commence a third winter offensive, with Vatutin's 63 divisions in the Ukraine and capture Berdichev.


Marilyn%20Monroe4.jpg Marilyn Monroe


1943: Sir Henry Maitland Wilson is made Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean and Alexander is C in C Allied Armies, Italy.


1943: Roosevelt broadcasts about the Cairo and Teheran conferences and says plans have been laid for the invasion of Europe and its post-war reconstruction.


Marilyn%20Monroe5.jpg Marilyn Monroe


1944: In the English Channel, U-486 (Oblt.z.S. Gerhard Meyer) sinks the allied troop carrier SS Leopoldville with the loss of 763 men of the US 66th Infantry Division. All news and information on this incident is suppressed by orders of SHAEF headquarters.


Marilyn%20Monroe6.jpg Marilyn Monroe

*Probably the most celebrated of all actresses, Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on Tuesday, June 1st, 1926, in Los Angeles General Hospital. Prior to her birth, Marilyn's father bought a motorcycle and headed north to San Francisco, abandoning the family in Los Angeles. Marilyn grew up not knowing for sure who her father really was. Her mother, Gladys, had entered into several relationships, further confusing her daughter as to who it was who fathered her. Afterward, Gladys gave Norma Jeane (Marilyn) the name of Baker, a boyfriend she had before Mortenson. Poverty was a constant companion to Gladys and Norma. Gladys, who was extremely attractive and worked for RKO Studios as a film cutter, suffered from mental illness and was in and out of mental institutions for the rest of her life, and because of that Norma Jeane spent time in foster homes. When she was nine she was placed in an orphanage where she was to stay for the next two years. Upon being released from the orphanage, she went to yet another foster home. In 1942, at the age of 16, Norma Jeane married 21-year-old aircraft plant worker James Dougherty. The marriage only lasted four years, and they divorced in 1946. By this time Marilyn began to model swimsuits and bleached her hair blonde. Various shots made their way into the public eye, where some were eventually seen by RKO Pictures head Howard Hughes. He offered Marilyn a screen test, but an agent suggested that 20th Century-Fox would be the better choice for her, since it was a much bigger and more prestigious studio. She was signed to a contract at $125 per week for a six-month period and that was increased by $25 per week at the end of that time when her contract was lengthened.

Marilyn%20Monroe7.jpg Marilyn Monroe

Her first film was in 1947 with a bit part in "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" (1947). Her next production was not much better, a bit in the eminently forgettable "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!" (1948). Two of the three brief scenes she appeared wound up on the cutting room floor. Later that same year she was given a somewhat better role as Evie in "Dangerous Years" (1947). However, Fox declined to renew her contract, so she went back to modeling and acting school.

Columbia Pictures then picked her up to play Peggy Martin in "Ladies of the Chorus" (1948), where she sang two numbers. Notices from the critics were favorable for her, if not the film, but Columbia dropped her. Once again Marilyn returned to modeling. In 1949 she appeared in United Artists' "Love Happy" (1949). It was also that same year she posed nude for the now famous calendar shot which was later to appear in Playboy magazine in 1953 and further boost her career. She would be the first centerfold in that magazine's long and illustrious history. The next year proved to be a good year for Marilyn. She appeared in five films, but the good news was that she received very good notices for her roles in two of them, "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950) from MGM and "All About Eve" (1950) from Fox. Even though both roles were basically not much more than bit parts, movie fans remembered her ditzy but very sexy blonde performance.


In 1951, Marilyn got a fairly sizable role in "Love Nest" (1951). The public was now getting to know her and liked what it saw. She had an intoxicating quality of volcanic sexuality wrapped in an aura of almost childlike innocence. In 1952, Marilyn appeared in "Don't Bother to Knock" (1952), in which she played a somewhat mentally unbalanced babysitter. Critics didn't particularly care for her work in this picture, but she made a much more favorable impression later in the year in "Monkey Business" (1952), where she was seen for the first time as a platinum blonde, a look that became her trademark. The next year she appeared in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) as Lorelei Lee. It was also the same year she began dating the baseball great Joe DiMaggio.

Marilyn was now a genuine box-office drawing card. Later, she appeared with Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall and Rory Calhoun in "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953). Although her co-stars got the rave reviews, it was the sight of Marilyn that really excited the audience, especially the male members. On Thursday, January 14th, 1954, Marilyn wed DiMaggio, then proceeded to film "There's No Business Like Show Business" (1954). That was quickly followed by "The Seven Year Itch" (1955), which showcased her considerable comedic talent and contained what is arguably one of the most memorable moments in cinema history: Marilyn standing above a subway grating and the wind from a passing subway blowing her white dress up.

Marilyn%20Monroe8.jpg Marilyn Monroe

By October of 1954, Marilyn announced her divorce from DiMaggio. The union lasted only eight months. In 1955 she was suspended by Fox for not reporting for work on "How to Be Very, Very Popular" (1955). It was her second suspension, the first being for not reporting for the production of "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing" (1955). Both roles went to others. Her work was slowing down, due to her habit of being continually late to the set, her illnesses (whether real or imagined) and generally being unwilling to cooperate with her producers, directors, and fellow actors.


In "Bus Stop" (1956), however, Marilyn finally showed critics that she could play a straight dramatic role. It was also the same year she married playwright, Arthur Miller (they divorced in 1960). Marilyn and new husband Arthur Miller went to England that fall where she made "The Prince and the Showgirl" (1957) with Laurence Olivier, fighting with him and falling further prey to alcohol and pills. Two miscarriages and gynecological surgery followed. So did an affair with Yves Montand.


After a year off in 1958, Marilyn returned to the screen the next year for the delightful comedy, "Some Like It Hot" (1959) with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The film was an absolute smash hit, with Curtis and Lemmon pretending to be females in an all-girl band, so they can get work. This was to be Marilyn's only film for the year.


In 1960 Marilyn appeared in George Cukor's "Let's Make Love" (1960), with Tony Randall and Yves Montand. Again, while it made money, it was critically panned as stodgy and slow-moving. The following year Marilyn made what was to be her final film. "The Misfits" (1961), which also proved to be the final film for the legendary Clark Gable, who died later that year of a heart attack. The film was popular with critics and the public alike.

Marilyn was dropped from the unfinished "Something's Got to Give" (1962) due to chronic lateness and drug dependency. On August 5, 1962 she was found dead in her Brentwood home of a drug overdose, adjudged "probable suicide". She was only 36.



Measurements: 37C-24-35 (definitive measurements for the majority of her career) / (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

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


The Blonde Bombshell



Arthur Miller (29 June 1956 - 20 January 1961) (divorced)

Joe DiMaggio (14 January 1954 - 27 October 1954) (divorced)

James Dougherty (19 June 1942 - 13 September 1946) (divorced)

Trade Mark:

Lisp, breathless voice

Platinum blonde hair

Voluptuous figure

InterwovenSocksAd-Dec1944.jpg Interwoven Socks Ad - December 1944

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