Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pop History Moment: "Happy Birthday Mr. President"

On this day in 1962, during what would be her last public appearance - at a birthday tribute to US President John F. Kennedy held in Madison Square Garden - Marilyn Monroe walked onstage a woman and walked off it a goddess.

During her introduction by the President's brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford, her tardiness (due as much to crippling stage fright as it was to her having to be sewn into her dress) was referred to when he called her 'the late Marilyn Monroe'; it was an eerily prescient statement...

Within three months she would be dead.
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Seumas Gagne said...

Oh, Man. How many drugs was she on? There were clearly things going on for her that no one else could see there.

michael sean morris said...

Donald Spoto, in "Marilyn Monroe: The Biography" gives the single most riveting account of that day I think I've ever read.

As I recall, there were neither drink nor drugs in her system at that moment. She was late because a) she had to be sewn into the dress, and b) she had terrible stage fright.

Most orphans are given up as babies, but she was old enough not only to remember the experience but to have been in an orphanage. In the 1930s.

For all the people who "loved" her, no one could love her enough, least of all herself.