The Steamiest Happy Birthday
May 19, 1962: Marilyn Monroe Sings to the Pres
Today in 1962, more than 15,000 people attended a fundraiser for the Democratic Party celebrating John Kennedy’s 45th birthday. [above image is Bill Ray’s iconic photo of Marilyn alone in the spotlight]
The highlight; Marilyn Monroe in a gorgeous, sexy, scandalous, skin tight dress singing a sultry rendition of Happy Birthday to the President.
The dress designed by Jean Louis, was a shear flesh colored fabric with 2500 shimmering rhinestones sewn in. It was so tight she had a hard time getting into it. At the time some believed she was sewn into it. And ah… she wore nothing underneath.
BTW: The dress which originally cost $12,000 and was sold at auction in 1999 for $1.26 million.
Monroe sang the traditional Happy Birthday song in a sultry, intimate voice. She adding lyrics she wrote specifically for the President and sang those to the tune of the classic song “Thanks for the Memories”.
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
Afterward Kennedy came on stage and joked about Monroe’s birthday song, saying, “I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way,” alluding to Marilyn’s delivery, skintight dress and image as a sex symbol.
Marilyn was 35 at the time. It was one of her last major appearances before her death 3 months later.
Mrs. Kennedy did not attend.