Telling War Stories, 1924

24 June 2013

G.A.R. vets P.R. Barker and John Houder from Fitzgerald, Georgia, tell war stories to kids on historic Boston Common in August, 1924. The G.A.R. stands for the Grand Army of the Republic. It was a fraternal organization composed of Union veterans.

Edith Wilson & Electric Car

23 June 2013
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson on a c.1905 Columbia Electric. Photo Credit: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson on a c.1905 Columbia Electric. Photo Credit: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum

Edith Bolling Galt met President Woodrow Wilson in March 1915 and they married on December 18, 1915. This was the second marriage for both of them. Before becoming First Lady, Edith had an affinity for driving around in her electric car. Reportedly, she was the first woman in Washington to drive an electric car that she purchased in 1904.

Declaration of Independence & World War II

21 June 2013
The Declaration of Independence. Photo Credit: National Archives

The Declaration of Independence. Photo Credit: National Archives

Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish was concerned for the United States’ most precious artifacts during World War II. On April 30, 1941, before the US’s involvement, he began to make plans that would keep the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution safe “in the unlikely event that it becomes necessary to remove them from Washington.” Where does one keep the most valuable and important pieces of this country’s history? MacLeish decided it was best to keep them in one of the safest and most secure places – Fort Knox.

On December 23, 1941 the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were removed from Washington. Under the constant eyes of guards, the two documents (along with other boxes of vital records) were carefully packed and loaded into an armed and escorted truck. They were placed, with secret service agents, into a Pullman sleeper compartment at Union Station. The documents left Washington D.C.  at 6:30 p.m. and arrived at Louisville, KY at 10:30 a.m. on December 27, 1941.

During its stay at the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, the Declaration was periodically examined and small repairs were done. Military authorities assured the Library of Congress in 1944 that the documents could be safely displayed again. On September 19, 1944, they were withdrawn from Fort Knox and the Declaration was back in its place of honor at the Library on October 1st.

National Archives

Amelia Earhart and Laura Ingalls, 1935

20 June 2013
Photo Credit: Kansas Memory

Photo Credit: Kansas Memory

This photograph shows Amelia Earhart Putnam and Laura Ingalls descending from a TWA “Sky Chief” airplane that stopped briefly at the municipal airport in Wichita, Kansas. The two female aviators were headed for Los Angeles, California, August 19, 1935.

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

19 June 2013
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League logo. Photo credit: Official Website for the AAGPBL

The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League logo. Photo credit: Official Website for the AAGPBL

The year was 1943. The United States was fully involved in World War II. All over the country men were taking up Uncle Sam’s call to war – leaving businesses, factories, barns and ball parks short-handed. Soon the country looked to women to fill the vacancies. They did and in record numbers. Some of the roles women played have been largely forgotten over time. In some cases, their roles are resurrected decades later.

First AAGPBL players signed in 1943: Back, L-R: Claire Schillace, Ann Harnett and Edythe Perlick. Seated: Shirley Jameson. Photo Source

First AAGPBL players signed in 1943: Back, L-R: Claire Schillace, Ann Harnett and Edythe Perlick. Seated: Shirley Jameson. Photo Source

Professional baseball hit a crucial moment. With a large number of pro and semipro baseball players drafted into the armed forces, team owners were worried. Will America forget about baseball once the war is over? How does one still keep America’s favorite pastime alive? Philip Wrigley, the chewing-gum king who also owned the Chicago Cubs, had the answer – the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

All around the country an estimated 40,000 women played semipro softball in small towns and communities. Wrigley wanted to recruit the best of the best for “hardball” (overhand pitching and baseball guidelines/rules) with the hope that it would keep people interested in baseball. Around 600 women suddenly got the opportunity of a lifetime – to play professional baseball in front of millions of fans.

Spring training was held on May 17, 1943 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Four main teams were created: the Rockford Peaches, Kenosha Comets, South Bend Blue Sox and the Racine Belles. Soon other teams were added to the league including the Minneapolis Millerettes, Kalamazoo Lassies, Chicago Colleens, Springfield Sallies, Grand Rapids Chicks, Fort Wayne Daisies and the Battle Creek Belles.

A replica uniform of the one used during road games by the Chicago Colleens. (Photo by Zim)

A replica uniform of the one used during road games by the Chicago Colleens. (Photo by Zim via the Louisville Slugger Museum)

Just because these women were stepping into vacated male positions did not mean they were able to dress, talk or act like the opposite sex. In order to play, Wrigley ordered the women to attend charm school. “Femininity is the keynote of our league,” Wrigley insisted. “No pants-wearing, tough-talking female softballer will play on any of our four teams.” Chaperones were assigned to the teams making sure the women were dressing, acting and looking feminine. Those who violated the rules were subjected to a fifty dollar fine.

Among the League’s Rules of Conduct included:

  1. ALWAYS appear in feminine attire when not actively engaged in practice or playing ball. This regulation continues through the playoffs for all, even though your team is not participating. AT NO TIME MAY A PLAYER APPEAR IN THE STANDS IN HER UNIFORM, OR WEAR SLACKS OR SHORTS IN PUBLIC.
  2. Boyish bobs are not permissible and in general your hair should be well groomed at all times with longer hair preferable to short hair cuts. Lipstick should always be on.

The uniforms worn were specially designed by Mrs Wrigley, Wrigley’s Art Designer, Otis Shepard and player Ann Harnett. They wore a one-piece short-skirted flared tunic, satin shorts, knee-high socks and baseball hat. Each team had their own symbolic patch on the front and different colored uniform.

League members performing calisthenics in Opalocka, Florida, April 22, 1948. The different baseball clubs are (L-R): Fort Wayne Daisies (partially visible), Chicago Colleens, Rockford Peaches, South Bend Blue Sox, Springfield Sallies and Peoria Redwings. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

League members performing calisthenics in Opalocka, Florida, April 22, 1948. The different baseball clubs are (L-R): Fort Wayne Daisies (partially visible), Chicago Colleens, Rockford Peaches, South Bend Blue Sox, Springfield Sallies and Peoria Redwings. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

Calisthenics-rowing exercise. Girls sitting in 6 rows, each club to a row, form pattern on field during daily calisthenics program, as rigorous as a major league's farm training camp. Clubs included in picture are Fort Wayne, South Bend, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, and Chicago. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

Calisthenics-rowing exercise. Girls sitting in 6 rows, each club to a row, form pattern on field during daily calisthenics program, as rigorous as a major league’s farm training camp. Clubs included in picture are Fort Wayne, South Bend, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, and Chicago. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

Salaries were considered quite high for the time. Especially when some players were as young as 15. Ranging from $45 to $85 a week, some of these women earned more than workers who had skilled occupations. Signed players were paid higher because they were considered more highly skilled baseball players.

The official All-American Girls Professional Baseball League discussed it’s debut season and how the league ran.

League play officially began on May 30, 1943 with South Bend playing in Rockford and Kenosha playing in Racine. A total of 108 games were played in the regular season, which ran from mid-May to the first of September. The team to win the most games during the regular season was declared the pennant winner. The top teams then competed in a series of play-off games to determine the League Champion. At the end of the 1943 season, the Kenosha Comets played a 5-game series against the Racine Belles for the Championship. Racine won and became the first World Champions of the All-American Girls Baseball League.

The youngest player in AAGPBL history, Dorothy “Dottie” Schroeder was 15 years old when she started her professional baseball career with the South Bend Blue Sox. She holds the record for most games played (1,249) and was the only to play in all 12 seasons of the AAGPBL. She racked up the most career RBIs in the league with 431, and was also a stellar shortstop described as a “vacuum.” (Photo by Zim via the Louisville Slugger Museum)

The youngest player in AAGPBL history, Dorothy “Dottie” Schroeder was 15 years old when she started her professional baseball career with the South Bend Blue Sox. She holds the record for most games played (1,249) and was the only to play in all 12 seasons of the AAGPBL. She racked up the most career RBIs in the league with 431, and was also a stellar shortstop described as a “vacuum.” (Photo by Zim via the Louisville Slugger Museum)

The All-American Girls Professional baseball League ran for 11 years and 12 seasons from 1943 through 1954. During the league’s run it entertained the country and kept “America’s favorite pastime” alive. A single game could bring between two and three thousand fans. The 1948 season was its peak, but as the 1950s rolled in attendance declined. Part of the reason was that men’s major league games began televising. Another factor in the folding of the league was that ownership kept changing while some teams operated independently. There was no centralized publicity, promotion or player recruitment which caused the league to suffer. Adding in the low attendance and financial difficulties, teams did not have the means to support training talented softball players into baseball players.

When the 1954 season ended, only five teams remained: Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, South Bend and Rockford. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League disbanded. After receiving national attention and playing in front of thousands of screaming fans, the girls quickly faded and were lost in the ebb and flow of a changing society.

In 1992, their story was resurrected in A League of Their Own. Directed by Penny Marshall, the film stars Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna and Lori Petty. In 2012, the Library of Congress selected A League of Their Own to be preserved in the National Film Registry. Those chosen were deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Librarian of Congress James M. Billington stated, “These films are not selected as the best American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.” Not only do those words aptly apply to the movie itself, but it also personifies the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as a whole.

Dick Bass gives members of Fort Wayne club pointers on new 10-3/8" ball which will be used this year, April 22, 1948. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

Dick Bass gives members of Fort Wayne club pointers on new 10-3/8″ ball which will be used this year, April 22, 1948. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

The “Victory Song” was the official Song of the All-American Girls Baseball League and was co-written by Lavonne “Pepper” Paire Davis and Nalda “Bird” Phillips.

Victory Song

Batter up! Hear that call!
The time has come for one and all
To play ball.

We are the members of the All-American League.
We come from cities near and far.
We’ve got Canadians, Irishmen and Swedes,
We’re all for one, we’re one for all
We’re All-Americans!

Each girl stands, her head so proudly high,
Her motto ‘Do or Die.’
She’s not the one to use or need an alibi.

Our chaperones are not too soft,
They’re not too tough,
Our managers are on the ball.
We’ve got a president who really knows his stuff,
We’re all for one, we’re one for all,
We’re All-Americans!

Newsreel about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, among visible players are Dottie Schroeder, Kate VonDroll, Patt Scott, Jean Marlow, Tibby Eisen and Joanne Weaver.

Bill Geist caught up with some of the remaining members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League at their reunion.

Sources
Official Website for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
The Story of the Game: The Story of America,” PBS.org.
Tal Barak, “Men Play Baseball, Women Play Softball,” NPR, June 2, 2005.
Susan King, “National Film Registry selects 25 films for preservation,” Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2012.

Woman in Bathing Suit at Atlantic City Beach, 1905

18 June 2013
Photo Credit: William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

Photo Credit: William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

Female bather enjoying her day at a beach in Atlantic City around 1905. What a lovely photograph!

Odd Ads: Chlorox Tooth Paste, 1921

17 June 2013
Photo Credit: Old Ads Are Funny Blog

Photo Credit: Old Ads Are Funny

“Oil Your Teeth” is perhaps the most unappealing thing one would want to actually do to their teeth. Maybe it is because I look at this advertisement through modern eyes that associate Chlorox with bleach and leaves me a bit dubious about wanting to put Chlorox anywhere near my face, let alone on my teeth.

Oil Your Teeth with Chlorox Tooth Paste.

Chlorox Tooth Paste keeps tartar from forming. The secret of its wonderful cleaning power is the white mineral oil in the paste. It is soluble and goes in between teeth where ordinary paste can not. It leaves the teeth smooth, white, shiny and nothing is better for the gums. Millions report astonishing results. Chlorox is the only tooth paste which permits you to “oil your teeth.” Nulyne Laboratories, Jackson, Michigan.

“Washington Public Schools Go To War,” 1943

16 June 2013
Photo Credit: Roger Smith

Photo Credit: Roger Smith: Office of War Information/The New York Public Library

Schoolgirls showing jewelry made by themselves from scrap and discarded materials in their Art Crafts Class. Caption on back: “The public schools of Washington, D. C., like those in most other sections of the country, have revised their curricula to fit their pupils for fuller participation in the war efforts; They have gone all-out for the Program of Civilian Defense, which includes conserving of materials and wearing apparel; Members of the Art Crafts Class at Armstrong High School have made jewelry and many other articles from scrap and discarded materials; Girls are taught to wear proper color combinations and the right kind of accessories for each dress; Photo shows [left to right] Misses Helen G. Weaver, Yvonne Colvin and Audrey V. Minor in an exhibit of the Art Crafts Class.”

Eisenhower Fishing, 1946

15 June 2013
Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida (Florida Memory)

Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida (Florida Memory)

General Dwight Eisenhower landing a grouper in Florida, 1946

Flag Day

14 June 2013
"The Birth of Old Glory" - Betsy Ross (presumably) and two girls showing United States flag to George Washington and three other men. Painting by Percy Moran, ca. 1917. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

“The Birth of Old Glory” – Betsy Ross (presumably) and two girls showing United States flag to George Washington and three other men. Painting by Percy Moran, ca. 1917. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Happy Flag Day! For those interested about the history behind the day, here is what the Library of Congress posted about the holiday.

School children at Central High III, Washington D.C. with the American flag. Photo Credit: Theodor Horydczak/Library of Congress

School children at Central High III, Washington D.C. with the American flag. Photo Credit: Theodor Horydczak/Library of Congress

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag.

Since 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14, Americans have commemorated the adoption of the Stars and Stripes by celebrating June 14 as Flag Day. Prior to 1916, many localities and a few states had been celebrating the day for years. Congressional legislation designating that date as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949; the legislation also called upon the president to issue a flag day proclamation every year.

According to legend, in 1776, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new nation. Scholars debate this legend, but agree that Mrs. Ross most likely knew Washington and sewed flags. To date, there have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers’ preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag’s forty-eight stars into six rows of eight. The forty-nine-star flag (1959-60), as well as the fifty-star flag, also have standardized star patterns. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959.

Girl with Puppy and Lamb, 1929-32

13 June 2013

Girl wearing hat and pants seated in the grass holding a lamb and puppy, possibly Washington, ca. 1929-1932

Medgar Evers: 50th Anniversary of Death

12 June 2013
Medgar Evers stands near a sign of the state of Mississippi in 1958.  (AP Photo/Francis H. Mitchell - Ebony Collection, File)

Medgar Evers stands near a sign of the state of Mississippi in 1958.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Francis H. Mitchell – Ebony Collection, File/FBI

Fifty years ago today Medgar Evers’ life was cut short by a white supremacist’s bullet. Evers’ death and subsequent trials shocked the civil rights community.

Born on July 2, 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi, Evers grew up in a farming family. In 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Evers served in Europe and fought in the Battle of Normandy. He was honorably discharged in 1946. When he returned home, he and some friends tried to vote in a local election only to be turned away at gunpoint.

Medgar and Myrlie Evers smiling on a couch. Photo Credit: Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Medgar and Myrlie Evers smiling on a couch. Photo Credit: Mississippi Department of Archives and History

He enrolled at Alcorn State University where Evers met and married a fellow student, Myrlie Beasley. A year after they married, Evers received his degree in business administration. Later, they became parents to three children: Darrell, Reena and James.

Evers and his brother Charlie became active in the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), a civil rights and pro self-help organization. In February 1954, he applied and was rejected to the University of Mississippi Law School (then a segregated school). This brought him to the attention of the NAACP who used Evers as the focus of a school desegregation campaign. Later that year, he became Mississippi’s first NAACP field officer. He would travel around the state registering poor African Americans to vote and recruiting youth into the civil rights movement.

While his name was unfamiliar around the country, Evers was one of Mississippi’s most prominent civil rights activists. Because of his activism, he and his family endured many threats. In May 1963, their home in Jackson was firebombed.

On June 12, 1963, Evers arrived home from a meeting at a nearby church when a bullet struck him in the back. His wife found him on the door’s stoop, he had staggered about 30 feet before collapsing. Evers was pronounced dead an hour later at the hospital.

The front cover June 28, 1963  issue of LIFE  featured one of the most stirring pictures of the Civil Rights era: a dignified, deeply grieving Myrlie Evers comforting her weeping son, Darrell Kenyatta, at Evers’ funeral. Photo Credit: LIFE

The front cover June 28, 1963 issue of LIFE featured one of the most stirring pictures of the Civil Rights era: a dignified, deeply grieving Myrlie Evers comforting her weeping son, Darrell Kenyatta, at Evers’ funeral. Photo Credit: LIFE

His murder outraged civil rights leaders around the country, including President John Kennedy who then asked Congress for a comprehensive civil rights bill. It would be signed into law the next year under President Lyndon Johnson.

The sniper rifle used to shot Evers was found near the scene. The FBI traced it to Bryon De La Beckwith, a known segregationist who harbored hatred for African Americans, Jews and Roman Catholics. Beckwith’s fingerprints were matched to those on the rifle’s telescopic sight. He told investigators that his rifle had been stolen.

Byron De La Beckwith (left) is escorted into the Jackson Police station by FBI agents on June 23, 1963. Photo Credit: AP/FBI

Byron De La Beckwith (left) is escorted into the Jackson Police station by FBI agents on June 23, 1963. Photo Credit: AP/FBI

Witnesses to Evers’ murder reported seeing a man who looked like Beckwith around the same time as the murder. Additionally, people came forward and stated that an unfamiliar car was seen in the neighborhood that looked like Beckwith’s white Plymouth Valiant. Beckwith responded with an alibis that placed him about 95 miles away at the time of Evers’ murder. He also found witnesses substantiated it, including two police officers.

Murder charges were brought against Beckwith twice. Both trials ended in a hung jury. The all-white, all-male juries were typical in the deep south and notorious with ignoring evidence. It also did not help that former Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett (a known supporter of segregation) shook hands with Beckwith in the courtroom in front of the jury during Myrlie Evers’ testimony. Found not guilty, Beckwith went free.

Myrlie was outraged that the justice system failed. The Washington Post wrote that “More than any of the other civil rights widows, Myrlie Evers showed America her rage. She let the nation see her unfiltered emotion when two all-white juries refused to convict Medgar’s killer, during a time when black anger was not an acceptable display of emotion.” 

After the second trial, Myrlie and her children moved to California. However, she still fought endlessly to keep her late husband’s murder case active. She wrote a book that began: “Somewhere in Mississippi lives the man who murdered my husband.” Three decades later, her search for justice finally paid off.

Evers with his children, Darrell Kenyatta and Reena. Photo Credit: Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Evers with his children, Darrell Kenyatta and Reena. Photo Credit: Mississippi Department of Archives and History

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, enough new evidence arose to warrant a new murder trial against Beckwith. The state of Mississippi, under pressure from civil rights leaders and Evers’ family, reopened the case. While the physical evidence was mostly the same as the first two trials, the prosecution brought forward new witnesses. Their key witness stated that Beckwith often bragged about his rifle skills and his involvement in Evers’ death at KKK and other segregationist events.

The country tuned in to see how the third trial unfolded. During the trial, Beckwith refused to give any interviews unless they paid a fee of $5,000. His wife Thelma Neff, on the other hand, was more forth coming with the press. Of her husband she responded, “If men were a fourth as good . . . we wouldn’t have any problems in America.” When asked her thoughts on the officials who reopened the case, she stated that they are “giving in to the blacks too much.”

On February 5, 1994, a jury of eight African Americans and four Caucasians found Beckwith guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Medgar Evers. Beckwith was reportedly stunned by the decision, perhaps assuming this trial would end the same as the last two. He would later try to appeal, but was unsuccessful. He was sent to prison where he died in 2001.

Myrlie went on to write books about civil rights topics and her husband’s legacy. On January 21, 2013, she was asked by President Barrack Obama to deliver the invocation at his second presidential inauguration. She became the first woman and the first layperson to do so. Myrlie was recently asked what Medgar would think about American society now:

I believe he would look at the landscape of this country and realize what so many of us have said: We have made progress but there’s still so much to be done, and if we don’t guard the progress we’ve made, that too will slip away.

Evers’ legacy of pushing for black voter registration and encouraging others to participate in the civil rights movement was crucial not only to Mississippi, but to the entire movement as a whole. He led boycotts against companies that practiced discrimination showing them that African Americans were not second class citizens. After the 1955 killing of 14-year-old Emmett Till, Evers spent years gathering evidence and witnesses for the murder investigation. When James Meredith made news in 1962 by trying to gain admission as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi, Evers was there to help as well.

In the historical context of the civil rights movement, Evers’ death tends to be overshadowed by the assassinations of other leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X as well as both John and Robert Kennedy. Evers’s actions during his 37 years of life prove that his participation in the civil rights movement was more than just a shadow. In 1963, Evers commented that “In the racial picture things will never be as they once were. History has reached a turning point, here and over the world.” He helped to change that picture and, because of him and so many others, history indeed met its turning point.

In this June 15, 1963, file photo, mourners march to the Jackson, Miss., funeral home following services for slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. (Photo Credit: AP/ABC News)

In this June 15, 1963, file photo, mourners march to the Jackson, Miss., funeral home following services for slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. (Photo Credit: AP/ABC News)

“If we work with sufficient dedication, we will be able to achieve, in the not too distant future, a society in which no one is discriminated against on the basis of his race, his religion or his national origin. Our faith is invested in a law that is over and above man-made laws. We are dedicated to the cause of freedom and will continue to fight under God’s law, without fear of consequence.”

–Medgar Evers, May 31, 1959

Myrlie Evers-Williams’ invocation at President Obama’s inauguration can be found here.

Sources
Bill Nichols, “A town-shunning history: Few aware of neighbor’s link to Evers slaying,” USA Today, January 9, 1991.
David Stout, “Bryon De La Beckwith Dies: Killer of Medgar Evers Was 80,” New York Times, January 23, 2001.
NAACP
USA Today, “Evers-Williams pays homage to ‘those who came before,'” January 21, 2013.
Krissah Thompson, “Myrlie Evers-Williams returns to Mississippi as more than a civil rights widow,” The Washington Post, June 4, 2013.
FBI, “Civil Rights in the ’60s, Part 1: Justice for Medgar Evers,” June 11, 2013.
CBS/AP, “For Medgar Evers’ widow, husband’s legacy trumps personal bitterness,” June 12, 2013.

Marilyn Monroe Entertaining Troops, 1954

11 June 2013

In February 1954, actress Marilyn Monroe traveled to Korea to entertain the troops. Right before she flew into Korea, Monroe was in Japan on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio. She flew alone to Korea as DiMaggio was still attending to business in Japan. In the four days Monroe spent with the troops she performed ten shows. She later said that performing in Korea helped her get over her fear of live performances as she entertained audiences that totaled more than 100,000 troops. She remarked that the trip “was the best thing that ever happened to me. I never felt like a star before in my heart. It was so wonderful to look down and see a fellow smiling at me.”

The troops greatly enjoyed her visit. Ted Sherman, who served in the Navy during World War II and Korea, recalled:

The movie star was at her glamorous best when she performed ten USO shows in four days for U.S. soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors during the Korean War in early 1954.

I was with a group of Navy guys who happened to be at Daegu Air Force Base when we heard Marilyn would entertain there that night. We convinced our transport pilot to find something wrong with our R4D transport, so we could delay the return flight to our ship in Tokyo Bay for that one night.

It was a great evening for all the homesick guys who were dazzled by the movie star’s performance. The sight and sounds of Marilyn singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is a memory I still cherish.

Marilyn Monroe receives an escort while in Korea for her USO tour. Photo Credit:  Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

Marilyn Monroe receives an escort while in Korea for her USO tour. Photo Credit: Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

Marilyn Monroe pauses for a photograph while in Korea for a USO tour. Photo Credit: Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

Marilyn Monroe pauses for a photograph while in Korea for a USO tour. Photo Credit: Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

Marilyn Monroe appears onstage entertaining troops on her USO tour through Korea in 1954. Photo Credit: Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

Marilyn Monroe appears onstage entertaining troops on her USO tour through Korea in 1954. Photo Credit: Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

Marilyn Monroe sings several songs for an estimated 13,000 men of the First Marine Division. Miss Monroe stopped at the First Marine Regiment on her tour of the military units in Korea., February 16, 1954. Photo Credit: National Archives

Marilyn Monroe sings several songs for an estimated 13,000 men of the First Marine Division. Miss Monroe stopped at the First Marine Regiment on her tour of the military units in Korea., February 16, 1954. Photo Credit: National Archives

Monroe poses for soldiers in Korea after a USO performance at the 3rd U.S. Inf. Div. area, February 17, 1954. Photo Credit: National Archives

Monroe poses for soldiers in Korea after a USO performance at the 3rd U.S. Inf. Div. area, February 17, 1954. Photo Credit: National Archives

Marilyn Monroe greets the troops during her Korea USO tour. Photo Credit: Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

Marilyn Monroe greets the troops during her Korea USO tour. Photo Credit: Robert H. McKinley Collection/Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

A couple of videos of Marilyn Monroe in Korea, the first is a compiled silent film while the others are her singing live:

Sources
National Portrait Gallery
Ted Sherman, “Marilyn Monroe entertained me in Korea, 1954,” Yahoo! Voices.com, August 3, 2012

In Their Words – Andy Warhol

9 June 2013

Andy Warhol

Famous Relations: Abe Lincoln & Tom Hanks

8 June 2013

Famous Relations - Abe Lincoln & Tom Hanks (History By Zim)

This concept might be a new History By Zim series so stay tuned!

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