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This Day in WWII 4 August 1940 - 1944

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WesternElectricAd-August1943.jpgWestern Electric Ad - August 1943

 

1940: The Italians begin their invasion of British Somaliland, East Africa. Using some 25,000 troops, they push the small British garrison back towards the port of Berbera.

 

1941: Stimson shows Hull the Magic intercept of Toyoda's "encirclement" message to Berlin, that Japan and Germany will encircle their enemies, Russia and India.

 

Rosalind%20Russell1.jpg *Rosalind Russell

 

1942: Advance units of 4th Panzer Army cross the Aksay river in their drive toward Stalingrad.

 

1942: The British government charges that Mohandas Gandhi and his All-Indian Congress Party favor "appeasement" with Japan.

 

Rosalind%20Russell2.jpg Rosalind Russell

 

1943: U.S. bombers drop 153 tons of bombs on Kiska, Aleutian Is., a new one-day record.

 

1943: U.S. troops are halted by fierce opposition at Furiano River and at Troina, Sicily.

 

1943: The Red Army retakes Orel, as German 9th Army withdraws towards Bryansk, to avoid encirclement.

 

Rosalind%20Russell3.jpg Rosalind Russell

 

1944: An RAF Gloster Meteor pilot T. D. Dean becomes the first pilot to destroy a V-1 flying bomb, when he tips the pilotless craft's wing, sending it off course.

 

1944: A purge of the German Army is announced. In northern France, the allies take Rennes, Evrecy and Esqutsy.

 

Rosalind%20Russell4.jpg Rosalind Russell

 

1944: The 19th Panzer Division crosses Poniatowski Bridge in Warsaw, as the fighting ceases in the suburb of Praga. The Red Army forces a bridgehead across the Vistula at Baranov.

 

1944: Florence is evacuated by German forces.

 

Rosalind%20Russell5.jpg Rosalind Russell

 

1944: Anne Frank and family arrested by Gestapo in Amsterdam, then sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot are later sent to Bergen-Belsen where Anne dies of typhus on March 15, 1945.

 

1944: Aircraft from a U.S. carrier task group, cruisers and destroyers attack a Japanese convoy and other shipping in the Chichi Jima area, Bonin Is. Simultaneously, aircraft from a second carrier task group bomb airfield facilities on Iwo Jima.

 

Rosalind%20Russell6.jpg Rosalind Russell

 

*Rosalind Russell was born on June 4, 1907 in Waterbury, Connecticut. The middle child of seven children, she was named after the S.S. Rosalind at the suggestion of her father, a successful lawyer. After receiving a Catholic school education, she went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York, having convinced her mother that she intended to teach acting. In 1934, with some stock company work and a little Broadway experience, she was tested and signed by Universal. Simultaneously MGM tested her and made her a better offer. When she plead ignorance of Hollywood (while wearing her worst-fitting clothes), Universal released her and she signed with MGM for seven years.

 

For some time she was used in secondary roles and as a replacement threat to limit Myrna Loy's salary demands. Knowing she was right for comedy, she tried five times for the role of Sylvia Fowler in "The Women" (1939). George Cukor told her to "play her as a freak"; she did and got the part. Her "boss lady" roles began with the part of reporter Hildy Johnson in "His Girl Friday" (1940), through whose male lead, Cary Grant, she met her future husband, Grant's house guest at the time. She married Danish-American producer Frederick Brisson (Freddie Brisson) on October 25, 1941. Their marriage lasted 35 years. They had one child in 1943, a son named Lance.

 

In her forties, she returned to the stage, touring "Bell, Book and Candle" in 1951 and winning a Tony for "Wonderful Town" in 1953. Columbia, worried the public would think she had the female lead in "Picnic" (1955), billed her "co-starring Rosalind Russell as Rosemary" (she refused to accept an Oscar nomination as supporting actress). "Auntie Mame" kept her on Broadway for two years; the movie version was her last cinematic triumph. Russell was the logical choice for reprising her role as Auntie Mame when its Broadway musical adaptation "Mame" was set for production in 1966. She claimed to have turned it down since she preferred to move on to different roles. In reality, she did not want to burden the public with her growing health problems, which included rheumatoid arthritis. Russell died after a long battle with breast cancer on November 28, 1976 in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 69, although initially her age was misreported because she had shaved a few years off her true age. She was survived by her husband and son.

 

TRIVIA:

Height: 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Oscar nominations: "My Sister Eileen" (1942), "Sister Kenny" (1946), "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1947), and "Auntie Mame" (1958). In 1972 she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for contributions to charity.

 

StudebakerAd-August1944.jpg Studebaker Ad - August 1944

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