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This Day in WWII 20 August 1940 - 1945


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NationalDairyProductsAd-August1943.jpgNational Dairy Products Corporation Ad - August 1943

 

1940: Churchill reviews the progress of air war in Commons and says 'Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many, to so few'. The Luftwaffe withdraws the Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber from strategic operations against England after losing 20 per cent of their Stuka force to the RAF.

 

1940: Mao Tse-Tung launches '100 regiments' guerrilla offensive against the Japanese in China.

 

Mary%20Martin1.jpg *Mary Martin

 

1941: Adolf Hitler authorizes the development of the V-2 missile.

 

1941: German 11th Army captures Kherson on the Black Sea and opens the gate to the Crimea. German 11th Army captures Kherson on the Black Sea and opens the gate to the Crimea.

 

Mary%20Martin2.jpg Mary Martin

 

1942: The Russians counter-attack to the north of Stalingrad, but elsewhere German troops reach the Volga. The German 48th Panzer Corps, attacks northeast from Abganerovo, but can not break clear of the Russian defences in the hills of Tundutovo. On their northern flank, 4th Corps is also facing resolute Russian resistance.

 

1942: 31 U.S. aircraft touchdown on the newly completed Henderson Field airstrip on Guadalcanal to help the Marines fighting over the control of the island.

 

Mary%20Martin3.jpg Mary Martin

 

1944: The allies seal the Falaise gap, with blocking forces taking 4,000 prisoners. However, the Germans in the Falaise pocket break out along a single road and stream out of the pocket for six hours before the pocket is resealed. The Allies estimate that 10,000 Germans have died in the pocket and 50,000 prisoners taken. Although one German division (77th Infantry Division) is annihilated, 26 extremely weak divisions do escape the pocket. The U.S. 79th Division reaches the west bank of the Seine above Paris. Free French forces rise in Paris, while de Gaulle is reported in France.

 

Mary%20Martin4.jpg Mary Martin

 

1944: The Russians launch an offensive into Romania with 900,000 men (96 divisions), 1,400 tanks and 1,700 aircraft. Advances up to 12 miles are reported as the Russian plan to surround 23 German divisions (360,000 men) takes shape.

 

1945: Further negotiations in Manila. The Japanese leave at 1pm. MacArthur says that U.S. troops will land on the Japanese mainland within 10 days of signing the surrender.

 

Mary%20Martin5.jpg Mary Martin

 

*Musical theater star Mary Virginia Martin was born on December 11, 1913, in Weatherford, Texas. She was the younger daughter of Preston Martin, an attorney, and Juanita (Presley) Martin, a violin teacher. She was the mother of Larry Hagman, the famous actor and star of the hit TV shows I Dream of Jeannie, and Dallas.

 

As a child, Mary performed in local theater. She started taking voice lessons at age twelve. Just before her seventeenth birthday she married Benjamin J. Hagman, an accountant in Weatherford, and soon left the Nashville finishing school she attended for only a few months. After their son, Larry, was born in Weatherford in September 1931, Mary opened a dance school there. In 1935, she and Benjamin were divorced.

 

Using her maiden name, Mary Martin began pursuing a performing career singing on radio in Dallas and in nightclubs in Los Angeles. Her performance at one club impressed a theatrical producer, and he cast her in a play in New York. That production did not open, but she got a role in Cole Porter's "Leave It To Me". In that production, she became popular on Broadway and received attention in the national media singing "My Heart Belongs to Daddy".

 

In 1939, Paramount Pictures signed her to appear in the movie "The Great Victor Herbert". Between 1939 and 1942 she starred in ten films for Paramount. She also performed on radio programs at NBC and CBS. On May 5, 1940, Martin married Richard Halliday, an editor and producer at Paramount who subsequently became her manager. They had one daughter.

 

Returning to Broadway in 1949, Martin appeared in the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit "South Pacific". Critics loved her in the comic role of Ensign Nellie Forbush. She moved to London in 1951 to continue her South Pacific performance there.

 

Mary%20Martin6.jpg Mary Martin

 

During the 1950s she appeared on stage and in television performances of her roles in such productions as "In The Skin of our Teeth", "Annie Get Your Gun" and "Peter Pan". In Peter Pan, Martin became the actress still most identified with the starring role. She won Tony Awards for Peter Pan and for "The Sound of Music", in which she also played the lead as Mary Rainer. She starred in that role from 1959 to 1961.

 

Following a 1965-66 tour of "Hello, Dolly!" for military audiences in Asia, she returned to Broadway and appeared with Robert Preston in "I Do, I Do". They both continued their performances in the 1968-69 North American tour.

 

During the 1970s, Martin and husband Richard spent much of their time on their ranch in Brazil, where he died March 3, 1973. In 1978, she returned to Broadway in the comedy "Do You Turn Somersaults?" She hosted the 1981 public television series on aging called "Over Easy." In 1982 she was involved in a traffic accident that left her with two fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis, and a punctured lung. Also in the accident were Janet Gaynor, who died two years later from complications from her injuries, Gaynor's husband Paul Gregory, who survived, and Martin's press agent Ben Washer, who died in the accident. Following her recovery that accident, she and Carol Channing portrayed aging actresses in the 1986 touring production "Legends".

 

Mary Martin was honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in 1989.

 

Mary Martin died at age 76 from colorectal cancer at her home in Rancho Mirage, California on November 3, 1990. Her cremated remains were buried in Weatherford, Texas.

 

WesternElectricAd-August1945.jpg Western Electric Ad - August 1945

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