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Marilyn Wows the Crowd at MSG

May 20, 1962 - A high point of President Kennedy’s Birthday Salute at Madison Square Garden last night was the entrance of Marilyn Monroe, who sashayed onto the stage attired in a great bundle of white mink following an introduction by Peter Lawford. Due to a slight delay before her entrance, Mr. Lawford introduced her as “the late Marilyn Monroe.” Arriving at the lectern, Miss Monroe turned and swept the furs from her shoulders. A slight gasp rose from the audience of 15,000 before it was realized that she was wearing a skin-tight, flesh-toned gown. Then, in a sultry, intimate voice, Miss Monroe sang: “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” She continued the song with a snippet from the classic song, “Thanks for the Memory,” for which she had written new lyrics specifically aimed at Mr. Kennedy. “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.” Afterwards, as a large birthday cake was presented to him, President Kennedy came on stage and joked about Miss Monroe's version of the song, saying, "I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.”

#JFK #1960s #history #OTD #podcast #politics