‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ Turns 50

‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ Turns 50

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The May 19, 1962, fundraiser at New York City’s Madison Square Garden was billed as a 45th birthday celebration for President Kennedy, even though his actual birthday was 10 days later. The White House, looking to erase Democratic Party debt incurred during the 1960 election, invited a number of celebrities to participate, including Marilyn Monroe, who was in Hollywood filming “Something’s Got to Give.”

Monroe traveled to New York against the wishes of her bosses at 20th Century Fox, who later fired her from the project. “Marilyn had already missed quite a bit of time on the set because of her illnesses,” explained Scott Fortner, a historian of the actress who has one of the world’s largest collections of Marilyn Monroe-owned memorabilia. Though she was eventually re-hired, her untimely death on August 5, 1962, prevented the movie from ever being completed.

Throughout her career, Monroe was known for constantly arriving late. So at the birthday gala, master of ceremonies Peter Lawford—a Rat Pack member and JFK’s brother-in-law—performed a running gag in which he continually introduced her, only to see no one come onstage. Finally, at the end of the evening, Monroe slithered out in an open-backed dress made of flesh-colored soufflé gauze encrusted with rhinestones. The gown was so tight that she reportedly had to be sewn into it. “Mr. President, the late Marilyn Monroe,” Lawford announced, referring yet again to the star’s habitual tardiness. As the audience cheered, Monroe closed her eyes and began to sing in a sultry voice:

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, Mr. President
Happy birthday to you

Thanks, Mr. President,
For all the things you’ve done,
The battles that you’ve won
The way you deal with U.S. Steel
And our problems by the ton
We thank you so much
Everybody, happy birthday

A giant cake was then brought out, and Kennedy took the stage. He thanked all of the celebrities who had performed, including Ella Fitzgerald, Maria Callas, Jack Benny, Peggy Lee and especially Monroe. “I can now retire from politics after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way,” Kennedy joked.

Monroe’s performance only lasted about a minute. But it caused an immediate sensation, in part because of rumors that she and the present were having an affair. One columnist wrote that the actress seemed to be “making love to the president in direct view of 40 million Americans.” Actress Joan Copeland, who attended the gala, said Monroe sounded breathy because she was anxious and winded from running around backstage. According to Fortner, however, “She knew exactly the way she wanted to sing it. She rehearsed it well in advance. It wasn’t an accident.”

The event turned out to be one of Monroe’s final public appearances—and, JFK biographer Michael O’Brien observed, the last time she saw the president. That August, she died at age 36 of an apparent drug overdose, and the following year Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Yet the aura surrounding them lives on, with Monroe’s dress selling for nearly $1.3 million at a 1999 auction. “You have the greatest sex symbol of her day singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to President Kennedy,” Fortner said. “It was just one of those moments in time that can never be repeated.”

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Happy Birthday to You

"Happy Birthday to You", also known as "Happy Birthday", is a song traditionally sung to celebrate a person's birthday. According to the 1998 Guinness World Records, it is the most recognized song in the English language, followed by "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow". The song's base lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages. [1] The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning to All", [2] which has traditionally been attributed to American sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill in 1893, [3] [4] although the claim that the sisters composed the tune is disputed. [5]

The song is in the public domain in the United States and the European Union. Warner Chappell Music had previously claimed copyright on the song in the US and collected licensing fees for its use in 2015 the copyright claim was declared invalid and Warner Chappell agreed to pay back $14 million in licensing fees.

Marilyn Monroe Is “Late”

Marilyn Monroe had been working on the movie Something’s Got to Give in Hollywood when she took a plane to New York to participate in President John F. Kennedy’s birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Things had not been going well on the set, mostly because Monroe had been frequently absent. Despite her recent illnesses and trouble with alcohol, Monroe was determined to make a grand performance for JFK.

The birthday event was a Democratic Party fundraiser and included many famous names of the time, including Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Benny, and Peggy Lee. Rat Pack member (and JFK’s brother in law) Peter Lawford was the master of ceremonies and he made Monroe’s famous lateness a running joke throughout the event. Several times, Lawford would introduce Monroe and the spotlight would search the back of the stage for her, but Monroe would not step out. This had been planned, for Monroe was to be the finale.

Finally, the end of the show was near and still, Lawford was making jokes about Monroe not appearing on time. Lawford stated, “On the occasion of your birthday, the lovely lady who is not only pulchritudinous [breathtakingly beautiful] but punctual. Mr. President, Marilyn Monroe!” Still no Monroe.

Lawford pretended to stall, continuing, “Ahem. A woman about whom, it truly may be said, she needs no introduction. Let me just say…here she is!” Again, no Monroe.

This time, Lawford offered what seemed to be an impromptu introduction, “But I’ll give her an introduction anyway. Mr. President, because in the history of show business, perhaps there has been no one female who has meant so much, who has done more…”

Mid-introduction, the spotlight had found Monroe at the back of the stage, walking up some steps. The audience cheered and Lawford turned around. In her skin-tight dress, it was hard for Monroe to walk, so she scampered across the stage on her tiptoes.

When she reaches the podium, she rearranges her white mink jacket, pulling it close to her chest. Lawford put his arm around her and offered one last joke, “Mr. President, the late Marilyn Monroe.”

‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’: the story of Marilyn Monroe and that dress

F ifty-four years later, one might suppose that the famous dress came on to the stage of its own accord, as if it had life as well as destiny. But yes, in 1962, there was a warm body inside it. This was 19 May 1962, and Marilyn Monroe was bringing happy birthday wishes to the president of the United States. She was 10 days early: the actual birthday of John F Kennedy, his 45th, would not be until 29 May. So what? The Democratic party wanted to have a super fundraiser at Madison Square Garden in New York City, so they needed not just JFK himself, but a hook and bait. The birthday was a pretext until the breathy song, “Happy birthday, Mr President . ”

That was Marilyn Monroe. But did the Dems ask her or did the president himself arrange it? Sometimes a president can be an instrument in his own PR. Marilyn would be 36 on 1 June, which would prove to be her last birthday. On 5 August, she was found dead in her bed in Brentwood with just a sheet around her.

Happy Birthday Mr President feels so directed an incident, you have to wonder who was running the show. Was it Peter Lawford, the president’s brother-in-law, who seems to have been the onstage host for the event, dapper in his tux, looking off into the wings, waiting for a bright light, calling for her but she never shows, until at last he can welcome “the late Marilyn Monroe” – does he hear what he’s saying?

Or was it Marilyn’s own doing? There is a thought now, decades later, that says she was the victim of her time, that she was a wistful actor who wanted to play Chekhov or O’Neill. But still, you have to note how, time and again, hanging on to what was called her career, she did these far-fetched things that catered to male dreams – such as playing Sugar Kane in Some Like it Hot, kissing Tony Curtis and being the dumb blond in a dirty joke for us.

You can say that only demonstrates her victimhood and makes her wishing more wistful. But then you have to see the plain delight with which she did these preposterous things, these moments, as if she could not resist or do without the comfort that came with the gasps and the whistles at Madison Square Garden when she came into the platinum light, shrugged off her wrap and stood there, with her massed blonde waves jutting off to one side, like the control on tower an aircraft carrier, in a dress that could have been painted on her. And she did not seem like the hesitant neurotic of fame and constant lateness when she broke into the birthday song. Just take a look. She seems happy, and an actress is hired to give us some sort of good feeling. This is maybe her greatest moment – the most reckless – and she knows it, even if the summer of 1962 is her hell.

That dress didn’t just happen. It was the work of Jean Louis. Born in France in 1907, he had come to the US as a fashion designer and then got into the movies. He did work for the Duchess of Windsor, and he also created the black satin dress worn by Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946). Hayworth does a restrained striptease (drawing off her elbow-length gloves) in the Put the Blame on Mame number, which was thought daring in its day. After the war, a pressure grew in movies (it was censorship fighting desire) in which we were asked to imagine what a woman would look like without clothes. It was as if there was a cultural blooming that had to break out of its sheath.

The dress on display at Christie’s in Los Angeles, in 1999. Photograph: Scott Nelson/EPA

Louis was an important figure in that history: he also did the black bathing suit that Deborah Kerr wears on an Hawaiian beach in From Here to Eternity, when she’s rolling in the surf with Burt Lancaster. That scene looks charming now, but in 1953 it was close to the outrage audiences were urging. There was a silly British gangster film in 1960, Too Hot to Handle, where Jayne Mansfield wore such a dress, and about which the story was promoted that the movie was so risque a few extra sequins had had to be painted on to the film to protect (or fetishise) Jayne’s nipples. But the Happy Birthday Mr President dress was the climax of this quest.

That summer was a frenzied time for Marilyn, and there are signs of how far she yearned to break out of not just a dress, but every setup that imprisoned her. Twentieth Century Fox put her in a new picture, Something’s Got to Give, for which she shot a promotional nude swimming scene – though censorship would not have allowed the sequence. It was as if she was breaking out already. Her illnesses or her anxieties slowed the film but then she took that unexpected excursion to New York to sing to JFK – and seemed camera-ready. Fox fired her and replaced her with Lee Remick.

That swimming pool scene and a silent screen test she had done with George Cukor are the most radiant and eloquent things she ever put on moving film. And in the same summer, with Bert Stern, she shot some semi-nude still pictures – this became the famous “last sitting” where she seems to look like a would-be Kennedy or a plaintive beauty more appealing for being freed from so many stereotypes.

Marilyn Monroe still wearing the dress, with Steve Smith, Kennedy’s brother-in-law, at a reception at Madison Square Garden. Photograph: Cecil Stoughton/AP

There were also stories of a terrible weekend at the Cal-Neva Lodge, on the borders of California and Nevada, where Marilyn was passed around a circle of powerful men. The details are not clear, but you do not really want clarity. She was dead in just over a week, and that death (ahead of JFK’s) would have so many stories told about it that we’ll never know.

The dress remains, and I daresay it has provenance, although we are accustomed to be wary with such relics. Every now and then, people buy the Rosebud sled from Citizen Kane, amid mounting suspicion that there were several sleds. Why not? It was a movie, not a life in Colorado.

The dress itself, with all its inserted rhinestones, was said to have cost $12,000 in 1962. In 1999, it was sold for $1.3m (then £790,000), and now it is up for auction again, with some other Monroe mementoes. Should it be purchased by the Smithsonian, or will some Trump-like figure buy it, to wonder if any woman he knows would fit in it? The dress must be cold now – it’s likely kept in a temperature-controlled vault – to guard against decay or disintegration. But one night in May 1962 it would have been the object of farcical preparation and infinite imagining. And for a few moments at least, it was warm.

How Long Will It Take?

Typically, signed greeting cards should arrive within six weeks after being requested. This is why the White House Greetings Office requires that requests be made at least six weeks before the date of the event to be commemorated. However, actual delivery times can vary greatly, so requests should always be submitted as far in advance as possible.

For example, at one point during the first term of the Obama administration, the White House Greetings Office announced it was “swamped” with requests and stated that it could take several months for requests to be mailed out.

So, in all cases, the best advice is to plan ahead and order early.

Turning 100 Years Old? Expecting a Note from the President?

Have you wondered which of the presidents of the United States will respond to a birthday greetings request? Check out our comments from readers and other facts on who responds.

I read your Suddenly Senior article concerning presidential birthday greetings in December of 2005. I wrote President Bush, and former Presidents Carter and Clinton. Additionally, I wrote our Governor Jeb Bush and the mayors of Orlando, Orange County, and Winter Park, Florida, respectively.

I wrote requesting greetings for my beloved aunt, Annabelle Woodard, who will be 100 on March 4, 2006. The response was immediate from President Carter, as well as from Governor Bush in addition to Mayor Rick Crotty of Orange County and Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando. My aunt, however, has yet to hear from President Bill Clinton, and I’m so disappointed.

My aunt’s birthday is only two weeks away. I sent my first letter to President Clinton in December, faxed him in January, and sent a second letter by mail, as well.

Alas, woe is me. I’m fresh out of ideas. Should I have contacted Hillary, instead? What’s a loving niece to do when they don’t respond?

Anita Frankcene Favors-Daniels
Tampa, Florida

Presidential Greetings Respond FAQs

Here’s a list of commonly asked questions when requesting a greeting from our presidents.

Does the president call on your 100th birthday?

The short answer is no. But you can request a “turning 100 years old letter from the president” or other greeting cards for special occasions (e.g. a presidential birth announcement) from presidents.

How to request a congratulatory letter from the president?

Check out our article Get Presidential Greetings from Presidents for more information.

White House Late on Greetings

Cox News Service – March 15, 2004

WASHINGTON – Despite your pleadings, President Bush hasn’t written “Happy Birthday” to your 100-year-old grandpa? Even though you asked politely and promptly, your baby’s birth was not acknowledged by the White House?

Even the mannerly tradition of presidential tidings from the White House has been frustrated by threats of terrorism.

Since the Sept 11 attacks, and subsequent mailings of anthrax-laced letters to government offices, even routine White House mail has been routed to off-site locations to be screened and irradiated. The precautions apply to the thousands of greeting requests for baby announcements, 50th wedding anniversaries, 100th birthdays, and other such greetings that are sent to every president

The result has been a backlog of Americans awaiting a congratulatory note from President Bush.

A handler in the White House Greetings Office said proud parents might have to wait six to eight months after their baby is born to receive the customary presidential announcement. In some cases, she cautioned, the baby might celebrate a first birthday before the note arrives. She had seen 17 crates of backed-up baby announcements carried into the office as workers struggled to catch up.

Last month, South Bend (Ind.) Tribune columnist Carol Elliott wrote about a woman’s request for a 100th birthday greeting for her grandmother.

‘We never received the card,’ the grieving woman even though she sent in the request with the wrote, e required lead-time of six to eight weeks. Her grandmother turned 100 and died the next month, never receiving the card. With the columnist’s help, the White House promised to send the tardy card to the granddaughter as a memento.

The best way to have a request handled in a timely manner is to fax it to (202) 395-1232, said Taylor Gross of the White House.

He would not say how many requests the Greetings Office sends out in a year, only that it accommodates as many as it can handle.

The Greetings Office employee said an Internet spam filter on the computer system has caused some email delays.

For American citizens, the White House sends out greetings to newborns, couples celebrating their 50th and subsequent wedding anniversaries, birthday wishes to folks 80 and older, wedding congratulations, Eagle Scout Awards, Girl Scout Gold Awards, and bar/bat mitzvah or equivalent occasions.

Greetings Respond: Reader Comments

I’ve saved your column on birthday greetings in “my favorites” on my computer. I just wanted to relate that Pres. Bush DID send a card to my Dad on his 80th (Sept. 10, 2004), and I will request one for my Mom’s 80th (Sept. 20, 2006).

Tell your readers they can ALSO request cards from their state governor (Dad got one from Pennsylvania’s Ed Rendell), their Senator, Congresspersons, and their state reps. If they live in a large city, they may get one from the mayor, too.

By the way…… My grandma was tickled pink when, while in office, Clinton’s CAT, Socks, sent her a postcard of himself with the White House in the background!

My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in August of 2004. Our #3 son and his wife had sent the information to the white house and we received our greetings from President Bush in a very timely manner.

Alan & Helen Rouzei Frank

12/14/02…This was the first I received about the current President’s lack of response to seniors wanting greetings. Since then, I’ve heard from dozens of ignored citizens. Only in the last two months, has the White House been granting cards again. Frank Kaiser, October 5, 2003.

Hi, my name is Frank Duval and several months ago I read in your suddenly senior information column about living presidents retired and presiding congratulating senior citizens on their eightieth birthday. I sent my wife’s info to all of them and a note to our governor Pataki. About 2 weeks back my wife received congratulations from presidents Carter and Ford and a very nice letter from gov. Pataki. I have heard nothing from the pres. Bushes, Ronald Reagan nor Clinton. After the first letters arrived, I explained the presidential policy to her and see her disappoint every day that the expected letters do not arrive.

I thought you should be informed in order that you might pass the information on in your column that circumstances might negate reception of some of the birthday congratulations.

Thank you, and thanks for your column.

And, as of April 2004 …

I had found part of this service as early as 1979 when I began having cards from the then-current President sent to my over-80 grandmother. In 2003 I found your website and wrote for cards from all the living Presidents for my father’s 80th birthday in January, which was just after they announced that former President Reagan’s health had worsened significantly and his Alzheimer’s had robbed him of recognition of anyone, and at that point, I guess his staff discontinued the practice altogether because his was the only one that wasn’t received. Dad was thrilled. Thanks for having this information available for us. By the way, I always include the recipient’s full birthdate AND birthplace in case there might be any doubt as to the validity of the request, and I have never failed to get a response.

I requested a presidential birthday greeting card for my 95-year old aunt. Never came. She has since passed so I can not request one for next year. I also requested cards for another aunt and uncle who fortunately are still living. The president didn’t send them either. I may get a chance to try again in 󈧉. I have now prepared a request for my mother who’s birthday is in late March. Let’s see how that turns out.

After viewing your site, I sent requests to President Bush and to Willard Scott to send congratulations to my mother-in-law – Perl Ackley – who turned 100 years old on February 4, 2004. These requests were sent in October. The card from President and Mrs. Bush was received, however, nothing was received from Willard Scott. I sent emails to the Today Show and received no response. Finally today I called Willard Scott’s office (212-664-3924). The information I received was a recording that stated that if the birthday was during the week, it would be “considered” for announcement on the Today Show either Tuesday or Thursday, however, if the birthday was on the weekend, no announcement would be made on the Today Show, but that Willard Scott would send a congratulatory card to the birthday person. Neither one of these was received by me or my mother-in-law.

I thought you should know this information and perhaps prevent someone else from being disappointed as we were. All-in-all, the party for Mom was enjoyed by 9 of her 12 children and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

My Dad was 91 last Sunday, May 2, 2004, here received two more cards, one from Jimmy Carter and another one from Bill Clinton. They both came on the day we had his birthday party so that was so neat. He had got one from Gerald Ford before that. Thanks to your nice web page I was able to write to all of them and he is so proud. Those cards he carries in his pocket so show off.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President: Trump Hits Record On Google Ads

President Donald Trump’s combative response to nationwide protests against police brutality has dominated the news in recent days, but a wave of ads on Google’s YouTube has sought to draw attention to another event: the President’s 74th birthday. In the last full week of May, Trump’s campaign spent $1.48 million on Google advertising, the highest weekly total of the 2020 campaign, according to the search giant’s data. Many of the ads take the form of a digital birthday card the president’s supporters can sign by sharing information like their email addresses.

The spending surge shows how the presidential campaign season has continued on digital media even as in-person events, like the large rallies President Trump favors, have been placed on hold. In the interim, Trump’s campaign is increasing its spending, largely to accumulate potential supporters’ email addresses.

Online birthday card for President Donald Trump

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is a favorite destination. Trump’s campaign spent about the same amount on Facebook Inc., where it spent $1.48 million over the same period.

During the week of May 23, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee spent $1.3 million on Google advertising, while Donald J. Trump for President Inc., another Trump campaign entity, spent $164,500, according to Google’s database.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign spent $322,600 in the week of May 23. The campaign has pulled back its spending on Google since the primary concluded Biden’s spending on Google hit a record of $1.72 million for the week of Super Tuesday. Biden spent about $570,000 on Facebook during the week starting May 23.

The two main Trump campaign groups have spent $26.3 million on Google ads since July 2018. Over that same period, Biden’s campaign has spent $6.38 million on Google ads.

Earlier this year, the Trump campaign outbid rivals to reserve the coveted ad space at the top of YouTube’s homepage in advance for election day and the days before, Bloomberg News reported earlier.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on the candidates’ campaign spending.

YouTube has taken a financial hit in recent months due to the economic downturn, but the company has noted the strong performance of 𠇍irect response” marketing -- video ads that prompt viewers to make a purchase or take an action, like Trump’s birthday card messages.

�mocrats have just had a little more trouble raising money on Google versus Republicans, not due to a lack of good strategy but due to seeing better returns on other platforms,” said Julia Ager, founder and president of the Democratic digital advertising firm Sapphire Strategies.

Digital political advertising has become increasingly prominent -- and controversial -- since the 2016 election. Both Google and Facebook, the market leaders, have begun to disclose more about spending levels and the types of ads candidates run.

After an uproar over misleading campaign ads last year, Google banned political commercials with doctored images or �lse claims.” It removed some ads from Trump and Democratic candidates in March. But Google has mostly avoided the uproar that Facebook and Twitter Inc. have faced over the past week as the two social media companies have made diverging decisions about how to handle incendiary posts from President Trump.

Michael Bloomberg, the owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company for Bloomberg News, who ended his presidential bid in March, remains the top political buyer on Google since May 2018 with $62.3 million spent.

Research Maniacs

List of all US Presidents Birthdays. The list is in order of when they became president.

George Washington
birthday is on February 22.
He was born in 1732

John Adams
birthday is on October 30
He was born in 1735

Thomas Jefferson
birthday is on April 13.
He was born in 1743

James Madison
birthday is on March 16.
He was born in 1751

James Monroe
birthday is on April 28th.
He was born in 1758

Benjamin Harrison
birthday is on August 20.
He was born in 1833

William McKinley
birthday is on January 29.
He was born in 1843

Theodore Roosevelt
birthday is on October 27.
He was born in 1858

William Howard Taft
birthday is on September 15.
He was born in 1857

Woodrow Wilson
birthday is on December 28.
He was born in 1856

John Quincy Adams
birthday is on July 11.
He was born in 1767

Andrew Jackson
birthday is on March 15.
He was born in 1767

Martin Van Buren
birthday is on December 5.
He was born in 1782

William Henry Harrison
birthday is on February 9.
He was born in 1773

John Tyler
birthday is on March 29.
He was born in 1790

James K. Polk
birthday is on November 2.
He was born in 1795

Zachary Taylor
birthday is on November 24.
He was born in 1784

Millard Fillmore
birthday is on January 7.
He was born in 1800

Franklin Pierce
birthday is on November 23.
He was born in 1804

James Buchanan
birthday is on April 23.
He was born in 1791

Abraham Lincoln
birthday is on February 12.
He was born in 1809

Andrew Johnson
birthday is on December 29.
He was born in 1808

Ulysses S. Grant
birthday is on April 27.
He was born in 1822

Rutherford B. Hayes
birthday is on October 4.
He was born in 1822

James A. Garfield
birthday is on November 19.
He was born in 1831

Chester A. Arthur
birthday is on October 5.
He was born in 1829

Grover Cleveland
birthday is on March 18.
He was born in 1837

Warren G. Harding
birthday is on November 2.
He was born in 1865

Calvin Coolidge
birthday is on July 4.
He was born in 1872

Herbert Hoover
birthday is on August 10.
He was born in 1874

Franklin D. Roosevelt
birthday is on January 30.
He was born in 1882

Harry S Truman
birthday is on May 8.
He was born in 1884

Dwight D. Eisenhower
birthday is on October 14.
He was born in 1890

John Kennedy
birthday is on May 29.
He was born in 1917

Lyndon B. Johnson
birthday is on August 27.
He was born in 1908

Richard M. Nixon
birthday is on January 9.
He was born in 1913

Gerald R. Ford
birthday is on July 14.
He was born in 1913

Jimmy Carter
birthday is on October 1.
He was born in 1924

Ronald Reagan
birthday is on February 6.
He was born in 1911

George H. W. Bush
birthday is on June 12.
He was born in 1924

William J. Clinton
birthday is on August 19.
He was born in 1946

George W. Bush
birthday is on July 6.
He was born in 1946

Barack Hussein Obama
birthday is on August 4.
He was born in 1961

Donald John Trump
birthday is on June 14.
He was born in 1946

More information
from Research Maniacs:

United States Presidents
Get information about all United States Presidents

Which President was impeached?
Question: Which President was impeached?

Presidential Elections
Facts about all the United States Presidential Elections.

Presidents Day
Celebrate President's Day! See dates of past and future President's Day holidays.

Secret Service shares special birthday message with 100-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor

It’s not often that Secret Service employees are asked to participate in birthday celebrations. But then again, it’s not every day that a World War II hero turns 100.

Ken Potts, one of the two living survivors of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona, celebrates his centennial birthday today. Potts joined the Navy in 1939 at age 18. In 1941, he was aboard the USS Arizona when it was attacked at Pearl Harbor. More than 1,000 Sailors and Marines lost their lives in the sinking with only 335 surviving.

The connection between Potts and the Secret Service begins four years ago when the veteran and two other survivors visited Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attacks and the subsequent U.S. entry into the war.

Part of the visit included tours of the Pentagon and White House and a meeting with President Donald Trump. It was during the White House tour that Potts was able to spend some time with Uniformed Division Officer Sgt. Jonathan Stockeland.

A Marine Corps veteran and grandson of two World War II veterans, Stockeland volunteered to conduct the 2017 tour. Stockeland was able to share memories and laughs with the veterans during the tour, which concluded in the White House Map Room, symbolic because it is where President Franklin Roosevelt would receive daily briefings throughout the war.

“Giving those gentlemen that tour was the honor of a lifetime and the highlight of my career with the Secret Service” said Stockeland. “I wanted to do whatever I could to make Mr. Potts’ day special.”

Stockeland and the Potts family have kept in touch since the tour and it’s why they reached out to the officer asking if he would be willing to record a birthday message to Potts. The Officer recorded his video on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House last week and Potts was able to view it today during his birthday celebration in Provo, Utah.

“That day was one of the great privileges of my career, and it is also a privilege to wish you a happy 100th birthday! I am thankful that men like you are still around to tell your stories, and to inspire so many generations after you. Happy Birthday!” Stockeland shared with Potts.

In his typical low-key humble way Potts didn’t know what all of the birthday fuss was about. “I don’t know what the big deal is, I’ve had plenty of birthdays before,” he said to family and friends.

Reflecting on the tour and his time with Stockeland, Potts shared that “the Secret Service was mighty nice to us” during that special tour of the White House.

Happy 100th birthday, Mr. Ken Potts, from all of your friends at the Secret Service.

Monroe was newly seeking help from a psychiatrist

Monroe’s troubled upbringing mixed with the pressures of fame haunted her throughout her life. Some of her most famous quotes allude to the demons that swirled in her mind: �ing a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered,” “Hollywood is a place where they&aposll pay you a $1,000 for a kiss and 50¢ for your soul,” and “If I close my eyes and think of Hollywood, all I see is one big varicose vein.”

Her birth mother had spent much of her life in psychiatric clinics, and Monroe was determined not to follow her fate. In 1961, she checked into Payne Whitney psychiatric clinic — but was even further traumatized to find herself locked in a padded cell.

At the time of her death, she was seeking help from psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson. In fact, around 5:15 pm on Saturday before her death, she had talked to Greenson for about an hour on the phone and “was told to go for a ride when she complained she could not sleep, police reported,” according to her 1962 Los Angeles Times obituary. He thought she was headed to the beach for some fresh air.

The empty pill bottle next to her was from a prescription that had just been given to her a few days prior — and she was supposed to take one per night, said Dr. Hyman Engelberg. Also found on the bed stand were another 12 to 15 medicine bottles.

Her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, had seen Monroe head to her bedroom at about 8 pm on the Sunday night she’s believed to have died. Around 3:25 am, she then noticed Monroe’s light was still on and went to check on her — but didn’t hear any responses. She called Greenson who came over and broke the window to find Monroe’s dead body.

While both conspiracy and logical theories have been thrown out into the public realm, the truth behind Monroe’s death will forever be a mystery. The last six months of her life will soon come to the screen in the series tentatively titled The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, inspired by Keith Badman&aposs 2010 book The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe.

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  1. Glenn

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  2. Mikalabar

    your sentence is incomparable ... :)

  3. Alphenor

    you guessed...

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