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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Most Talked About & Memorable Performance in America's History

A Night to Remember
Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President"

It was beautiful, it was seductive, very quiet and the most memorable performance in America's history. Marilyn Monroe's personalized "Happy Birthday" song, sung to John F Kennedy. It was May 19, 1962 at the third Madison Square Garden in New York, 10 days before JFK's 45th birthday. A big celebration was held for the president and over 15,000 people showed up, including celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald. (Peggy and Ella also sang for the president that night.)
Jackie Kennedy, JFK's wife, did not attend the celebration. 
When it was time for Marilyn to sing, she arrived fashionably late, of course. The announcer made a joke out of her being late since Marilyn was known for never being on-time for anything. The crowd roared as Marilyn appered on the stage wearing a rhinestone covered, skin-tone dress ,that made it hard for her to move. Photographer Bill Ray, found himself on a balcony right behind and above the bombshell and captured some of the best photos of Marilyn Monroe that night.
Photo from LIFE, Photographer - Bill Ray
Bill Ray describing, in his own words, what he remembers about Marilyn Monroe that night: 

“It was skin-colored, and it was skin-tight. It was sewn on, covered with brilliant crystals. There was this long, long pause … and finally, she comes out with this unbelievably breathy, ‘Happy biiiiirthday to youuuu,’ and everybody just went into a swoon. I was praying that I could get the shot because I had to guess at the exposure. It was a very long lens, and I had no tripod, so I had to rest the lens itself on the railing, and tried very, very hard not to breathe.”

The dress was simply beautiful, it's one of the main things that people remember about that night! A full length, flesh-colored gown, encrusted with rhinestones, that Marilyn had to be sewn onto before walking onto the stage. Over the dress, Marilyn was wearing a coat-like cover made out of white fur. When the cover came off... everyone Ooooed and Ahhhhhed! After a playful covered-eye look at the crowd, Marilyn sang!
*It is said that the dress was sold in an auction in 1999 for $1,150,000. (To learn more about the sale go to

 Her voice was very seductive and quite and you could tell by the long silence that Marilyn was a bit nervous. But once she started singing, if was beautiful! She had re-written the traditional "Happy Birthday" song to be personalized for John F Kennedy. Some of her lyrics included: 
"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"

Photo by Yale Joel/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/
There is only one remaining picture known, of the lovely Marilyn Monroe, John F Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy from the night of the celebration. It is also the only known photo of Marilyn and JFK, at all, even though of all the rumors of affairs between the two. Many photos were taken that night but due to the FBI demanding the negatives after JFK noticed the camera being aimed toward him and Marilyn, only one somehow manged not to get destroyed. It was kept a secret for many many years. Some think the photo was not released due to the photographer's friendship with Jackie Kennedy and him not wanting to hurt her in any way.

The only photo of Marilyn Monroe, John F Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy

This was one of Marilyn's last performances before her tragic death in the early morning hours of August 5, 1962. They're are lots of questions surrounding the death of Marilyn Monroe that point fingers at many people including the Kennedy brothers, the Mob, and the FBI.
I believe that no-one will ever know the whole truth about the affairs between Marilyn and the Kennedy brothers or the mystery behind the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, John F Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy.We will always have unanswered questions that tear at our soul. No matter what, Marilyn Monroe's legacy will live on in everyone's heart through her films,photos and music. She will never be forgotten.

*Rest In Peace Marilyn Monroe, you will always be a beautiful and classy woman in my eyes, that I love very much.*

Edit Update on Sept 16, 2012 ~~~~~~~~~~ Rumor has it that Marilyn and JFK spent the night in his hotel suit after she sang at this celebration in 1962 at Madison Square Garden.

*Blog Written By ~ Autumn Banks*
..::I'm a stay at home mom who loves DIY projects, finding freebies and playing with my gurlie gurls. I have a secret obsession with anything history that not many people know about. I try to stay out of politics along with anything causing trouble but sometimes, randomly, find myself in the middle of some stupid argument::..
*I hope you like my post on Marilyn Monroe's version of "Happy Birthday" Comment all you like and please share if you enjoyed what you read. Have a wonderful day!*

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