Today is the 54th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
For many, he is emblematic of his era. Charismatic, charming, handsome and well spoken, he accomplished a lot in this short three years in office. He is remembered as the President who would take the first step in easing the tensions created by The Cold War and paved the way for his predecessors to ensure that African-Americans had the same rights as their Caucasian peers.
He was also the first Catholic President, a direct descendant of Irish immigrants, the youngest President to date and appeared to be a loving and loyal family man.
While he was imperfect as both a man and a President (Marilyn Monroe was rumored to be one of his many mistresses), today, we look back on the early 60’s with a view covered by rose-colored glasses. Especially considering the man who presently holds the office.
History is always seen in hindsight. I believe that we remember JFK as one of our greatest Presidents not only because he was taken from us too soon, but also for what he represented and what he still represents.
Today is the 90th birthday of Marilyn Monroe.
For many film fans, she is an icon of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Her likeness is everywhere.
Her style has been imitated by everyone from Madonna in her music video, Material Girl to actresses walking the red carpet during award season.
Born Norma Jean Baker on June 1st, 1926, young Norman Jean’s life was not easy. A ward of the state, she was shuttled around to different foster homes and orphanages. She married three times, husbands #2 and 3 were baseball player Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller.
But life in Hollywood did not ease the emotional burden of her demons. Even decades after her death, rumors still persist of an affair with President John F. Kennedy. The official cause of death was an overdose, but conspiracy theorists believe otherwise. Forced into the “dumb, hot blonde” niche, the majority of Marilyn’s roles reflected the double standard that existed in the 1950’s and still exists today.
What I would like to remember Marilyn Monroe for are her movies, not the rumors that surround her or the emotional problems that might have led to her death. My favorite Marilyn Monroe movies are Some Like It Hot and Gentleman Prefer Blondes. In both films, she plays yet another version of the “dumb, hot blonde” character, but she is smart enough to let the other characters think she is dumb. She has some of the best comedic timing I’ve ever seen. Unlike her screen persona and the image forced upon her by the movie studios, this lady was one smart cookie.
She also continues to prove that a woman does not have to be a size two, looking like a prepubescent boy with surgically enhanced physical charms to be considered attractive. For those of us (which actually a majority of women), we look more like Marilyn Monroe than the newest model walking down the catwalk who looks like she has not eaten for days.
Happy Birthday Marilyn.
Every generation has the moment that will never be forgotten.
For the baby boomers, that day is November 22, 1963. It was the day that President John F Kennedy was assassinated.
His assassination was a turning point in American history. The world as America knew it would change forever.
RIP, sir. Your body is gone, but your legacy will live on for eternity.