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This Day in WWII 6 October 1939 - 1945

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AllisonEngineAd-October1942.jpgAllison Aircraft Engines Ad - October 1942

 

1939: After a 2 day battle against Soviet tanks and planes and then a 5-day fight against the Germans. The last remaining Polish troops (17,000 men) surrender to German forces at Kock and Lublin.

 

1939: Hitler in a speech to the Reichstag announces the victorious conclusion of the Polish campaign and calls upon Britain and France to cease hostilities and come to terms with Germany. This is rejected by both the British and French government's.

 

1939: Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews.

 

Myrna%20Loy1.jpg *Myrna Loy

 

1941: Churchill gives a personal undertaking to Stalin to send a convoy every ten days to Russia's northern ports.

 

1942: The setting up of a UN commission to investigate war crimes is announced in Washington.

 

Myrna%20Loy2.jpg Myrna Loy

 

1942: The III Panzer Corps captures Malgobek at the bend of the Terek river in the Caucasus.

 

1942: Montgomery issues the final plan to senior commanders for the Second battle of El Alamein.

 

AllisonEngineAd-October1943.jpg Allison Aircraft Engines Ad - October 1943

 

1943: The U.S. Fifth Army takes Capua and Caserta.

 

1943: Two Russian armies take Nevel on the boundary between Army Groups North and Centre.

 

Myrna%20Loy3.jpg Myrna Loy

 

1944: The Canadian 3rd Division attacks the Breskena Pocket, South of the Scheldt.

 

1944: A Russian offensive by 64 divisions, 750 tanks and 1,100 aircraft commences near Arad in Hungary, with the aim of destroying Army Group South.

 

Myrna%20Loy4.jpg Myrna Loy

 

1945: General George Patton prepares to turn over command of the Third Army to General Lucian K. Truscott. Patton is relieved of the command because he is believed to be favorably inclined toward the Germans, as well as anti-Semitic. Patton later claims he was "done to death by slanderous tongues".

 

Myrna%20Loy5.jpg Myrna Loy

 

*Myrna Williams, later to become Myrna Loy, was born on August 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana. Her father was the youngest person ever elected to the Montana State legislature. Later on her family moved to Helena where she spent her youth. At the age of 13, Myrna's father died of influenza and the rest of the family moved to Los Angeles. She was educated in L.A. and the Westlake School for Girls where she caught the acting bug. She started at the age of 15 when she appeared in local stage productions in order to help support her family. Some of the stage plays were held in the now famous Grauman's Theater in Hollywood. Mrs. Rudolph Valentino happened to be in the audience one night who managed to pull some strings to get Myrna some parts in the motion picture industry. Her first film was a small part in the production of "What Price Beauty?" (1925). Later she appeared the same year in "Pretty Ladies" (1925) along with Joan Crawford. She was one of the few stars that would start in the silent movies and make a successful transition into the sound era. In the silent films, Myrna would appear as an exotic femme fatale. Later in the sound era, she would become a refined, wholesome character. Unable to land a contract with MGM, she continued to appear in small, bit roles, nothing that one could really call acting. In 1926, Myrna appeared in the Warner Brothers film called "Satan in Sables" (1925) which, at long last, landed her a contract. Her first appearance as a contract player was "The Caveman" (1926) where she played a maid. Although she was typecast over and over again as a vamp, Myrna continued to stay busy with small parts. Finally, in 1927, she received star billing in "Bitter Apples" (1927). The excitement was short lived as she returned to the usual smaller roles afterward. Myrna would take any role that would give her exposure and showcase the talent she felt was being wasted. It seemed that she would play one vamp after another. She wanted something better. Finally her contract ran out with warner and she signed with MGM where she got two meaty roles. One was in the "The Prizefighter and the Lady" (1933), and the other as Nora Charles in "The Thin Man" (1934) with William Powell. Most agreed that the Thin Man series would never have been successful without Myrna. Her witty perception of situations gave her the image that one could not pull a fast one over on the no-nonsense Mrs. Charles. After "The Thin Man" (1934), Myrna would appear in five more in the series. Myrna was a big box-office draw. She was popular enough that, in 1936, she was named Queen of the Movies and Clark Gable the king in a nationwide poll of movie goers. Her popularity was at its zenith.

 

In the summer of 1939 Myrna and Arthur Hornblow went to Europe for 3 weeks. There they found the threat of war over everywhere they went. When war broke out, Myrna took an active part in the money raising activities that Hollywood held for War Relief, and The Red Cross, amongst others.

 

Myrna%20Loy6.jpg Myrna Loy

 

The bombing of Pearl Harbor increased the war effort in Hollywood. California was felt to be vulnerable and the airport and studios were painted with camouflage paint. Myrna Loy donned a uniform when she joined the Hollywood Chapter of 'Bundles for Bluejackets' - helping to run a Naval Auxiliary Canteen and going on fund raising tours. Myrna set up entertainment programs for military hospitals in the Eastern United States, visiting many hospitals herself, where she was very moved by the plight of the soldiers she saw there.

 

Myrna%20Loy7.jpg Myrna Loy

 

She continued to make films through the 40s and 50s but the roles were fewer and fewer. By the 1960's the parts had all but dried up as producers and directors looked elsewhere for talent. In 1960 she appeared in "Midnight Lace" (1960) and was not in another until 1969 in "The April Fools" (1969). The 1970s found her in TV movies, not theatrical productions. Her last film was in 1981 called "Summer Solstice" (1981) (TV). Loy had two mastectomies in 1975 and 1979 for breast cancer. By the time Myrna passed away during surgery, on December 14, 1993, in New York City, New York at the age of 88, she had appeared in a phenomenal 129 motion pictures. She was buried in Helena, Montana.

 

TRIVIA:

Nickname:

Queen of Hollywood

The Perfect Wife

Queen of the Movies

Minnie

Measurements: 35 1/2-26 1/2-33 1/2 (from MGM's designer Adrian), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Spouse:

Howland H. Sargeant (1 June 1951 - 31 May 1960) (divorced)

Gene Markey (3 January 1946 - 21 August 1950) (divorced)

John Hertz Jr. (6 June 1942 - 21 August 1944) (divorced)

Arthur Hornblow Jr. (27 June 1936 - 1 June 1942) (divorced)

Outspoken against Adolf Hitler in the War, Myrna appeared on his blacklist.

Was supposedly the favorite star of famed outlaw John Dillinger. He came out of hiding to see Manhattan Melodrama (1934), in which she starred, and was gunned down by police upon leaving the theater.

 

AllisonEngineAd-October1944.jpg Allison Aircraft Engines Ad - October 1944

 

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