Thursday, July 9, 2009
Irv Steinberg took this photo of Marilyn Monroe backstage at Madison Square Garden May 19, 1962. She is wearing the infamous Jean Louis designed, flesh-colored dress, which she was literally sewn into. She has just finished singing a breathy version of 'Happy Birthday' to President John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday party. After she sang, Kennedy said, 'I can now retire from politics after having happy birthday sung to me in such a sweet and wholesome way!" That night must have seemed momentous to everyone there, it was such a spectacle of power, wealth and celebrity. But bigger stories would follow: Marilyn died 78 days later, and the JFK assassination took place 18 months afterward.