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This Day in WWII 17 July 1940 - 1945


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ChryslerAd-July1943.jpgChrysler Ad - July 1943



1940: The German Army presents its plan for the invasion of Britain. Six divisions are to land between Ramsgate and Bexhill in the southeast corner of England, four will land between Brighton and the Isle of Wight and three on the Dorset coast. Two Airborne division's will also be deployed, with follow up forces including six Panzer and three Motorised divisions.


1940: The first anti-Jewish measures are taken in Vichy France.


Susan%20Hayward1.jpg *Susan Hayward



1940: Under extreme diplomatic pressure, Britain agrees to close the Burma Road, a vital supply route for the Chinese army.


1941: FDR wants to double the 7 night baseball games to keep war workers on the job.


Susan%20Hayward2.jpgSusan Hayward



1941: In Finland the old 1939 border is crossed by Finnish forces at Käsnäselkä.


1942: Himmler visits Auschwitz-Birkenau for two days, inspecting all ongoing construction and expansion, then observes the extermination process from start to finish as two trainloads of Jews arrive from Holland. Kommandant Höss is then promoted. Construction includes four large gas chamber/crematories.


Susan%20Hayward3.jpgSusan Hayward



1943: An allied military government (Amgot) is set up in Sicily.


1944: Two ammunition-laden transport ships explode whilst docked at Port Chicago, California. 320 sailors and other military personnel are killed in what is the worst stateside disaster of the war. Most of the sailors were African-Americans, who had received no training in ammunition handling. Many of the survivors refused to load any more ships until proper safety procedures were put in place. The so-called "Port Chicago Mutiny" resulted in numerous court martials and imprisonments, but the publicity surrounding the event led directly to the end of racially segregated assignments in the Navy two years later. (READ MORE)


HigginsAd-July1943.jpgHiggins Industries Ad - July 1943



1944: Rommel is severely wounded by a Spitfire attack after his inspection of defenses Southeast of Caen.


1944: The Germans say they will hold Baltic States 'at all costs', as the Russian advance approaches the Latvian border.


Susan%20Hayward4.jpgSusan Hayward



1944: Admiral Shimada, the Japanese Navy Minister is sacked, Nomura takes over.


1945: President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II. (WATCH NEWSREEL)


Susan%20Hayward5.jpgSusan Hayward


*Susan Hayward was born Edythe Marrener in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 1917. Her father was a transportation worker, and Susan lived a fairly comfortable life as a child, but the precocious little redhead had no idea of the life that awaited her. She attended public school in Brooklyn, where she graduated from a commercial high school that was intended to give students a marketable skill. She had planned on becoming a secretary, but her plans changed. She started doing some modeling work for photographers in the NYC area. By 1937, her beauty in full bloom, she went to Hollywood when the nationwide search was on for someone to play the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" (1939). Although she--along with several hundred other aspiring Scarletts--lost out to Vivien Leigh, Susan was to carve her own signature in Hollywood circles.


Susan%20Hayward6.jpgSusan Hayward



In 1937 she got a bit part in "Hollywood Hotel" (1937). The bit parts continued all through 1938, with Susan playing, among other things, a coed, a telephone operator and an aspiring actress. She wasn't happy with these bit parts, but she also realized she had to "pay her dues". In 1939 she finally landed a part with substance, playing Isobel Rivers in the hit action film "Beau Geste" (1939). In 1941 she played Millie Perkins in the offbeat thriller "Among the Living" (1941). This quirky little film showed Hollywood Susan's considerable dramatic qualities for the first time. She then played a Southern belle in Cecil B. DeMille's "Reap the Wild Wind" (1942), one of the director's bigger successes, and once again showed her mettle as an actress. Following that movie she starred with Paulette Goddard and Fred MacMurray in "The Forest Rangers" (1942), playing tough gal Tana Mason. Although such films as "Jack London" (1943), "And Now Tomorrow" (1944) and "Deadline at Dawn" (1946) continued to showcase her talent, she still hadn't gotten the meaty role she craved. In 1947, however, she did, and received the first of five Academy Award nominations, this one for her portrayal of Angelica Evans in "Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman" (1947). She played the part to the hilt and many thought she would take home the Oscar, but she lost out to Loretta Young for "The Farmer's Daughter" (1947). In 1949 Susan was nominated again for "My Foolish Heart" (1949) and again was up against stiff competition, but once more her hopes were dashed when Olivia de Havilland won for "The Heiress" (1949). Now, however, with two Oscar nominations under her belt, Susan was a force to be reckoned with. Good scripts finally started to come her way and she chose carefully because she wanted to appear in good quality productions. Her caution paid off, as she garnered yet a third nomination in 1953 for "With a Song in My Heart" (1952). Later that year she starred as Rachel Donaldson Robards Jackson in "The President's Lady" (1953). She was superb as Andrew Jackson's embittered wife, who dies before he was able to take office as President of the United States. After her fourth Academy Award nomination for "I'll Cry Tomorrow" (1955), Susan began to wonder if she would ever take home the coveted gold statue. She didn't have much longer to wait, though. In 1958 she gave the performance of her lifetime as real-life California killer Barbara Graham in "I Want to Live!" (1958), who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the gas chamber. Susan was absolutely riveting in her portrayal of the doomed woman. Many film buffs consider it to be one of the finest performances of all time, and this time she was not only nominated for Best Actress, but won. After that role she appeared in about one movie a year. In 1972 she made her last theatrical film, "The Revengers" (1972). A two-pack a day smoker with a taste for drink, Susan was diagnosed with brain cancer in March of 1972. Hayward died at age 57 on March 14, 1975, of pneumonia-related complications of brain cancer, having survived considerably longer than doctors had predicted. There is speculation that she may have been affected by radioactive fallout from atmospheric atomic bomb tests while making "The Conqueror" with John Wayne.



Measurements: 36 1/2-26-35 1/2

Height: 5' 3 1/2" (1.61 m)


Floyd Eaton Chalkley (8 February 1957 - 9 January 1966) (his death)

Jess Barker (24 July 1944 - 18 August 1954) (divorced) 2 children

Her first marriage to actor Jess Barker was a stormy one and ended with a bitter custody battle of her twin sons and a suicide attempt by Susan. Her second to rancher Eaton Chalkley was a long and happy one until he died suddenly of hepatitis nine years later. She left Hollywood for five years in deep mourning, returning in 1971.

Was diagnosed with brain cancer, allegedly the result of being exposed to dangerous radioactive toxins on location in Utah while making The Conqueror (1956). All the leads John Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, John Hoyt, Hayward and the director Dick Powell died of cancer. The case is still a scandal.

Her footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre are the only ones set in gold dust.

Took over the ballsy role of stage star Helen Lawson in Valley of the Dolls (1967) in 1967 after Judy Garland was fired.

Was born on the same day, and same place (Brooklyn N.Y) as singer Lena Horne.


CamelCigarettes-July1945.jpgCamel Cigarette Ad - July 1945


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