DAILY BRIEFINGThe Moron's Daily Briefing
Aug. 5 - Norma Jeane Mortenson was born on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles. Her mother was insane and her father could not be identified. After her mother's institutionalization, Norma lived in foster homes and orphanages until 1937, when she was taken in by one of her crazy mother's friends. Five years later her mother's friend's husband was transferred to the east coast, and the couple couldn't afford to bring the girl with them. To avoid returning to the orphanage, she married a boy named Jimmy Dougherty. He joined the Merchant Marines and was shipped out to the Pacific in 1944.
While he was away Norma was discovered working on the assembly line at a munitions factory in Burbank. Photographs of her appeared in a "Yank" magazine feature on beautiful young factory workers with insane mothers. This quickly led to a successful modelling career.
Returning from the war in 1946, Jimmy asked Norma what the hell kind of woman served meatloaf without mashed potatoes. She divorced him and signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox.
She earned $125 per week, which was not bad for the divorced factory-working daughter of a lunatic. Norma quickly realized it was not enough, however, so she dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe didn't do much better than Norma Jeane Baker until 1950, when she was given the role of Claudia Caswell in All About Eve. This led to bigger and bigger film roles and enabled her to begin dating baseball legend Joe DiMaggio in 1952. Upon the release of Niagara in 1953 she became an actual star, enabling her to marry him in 1954.
They divorced nine months later, in part because Marilyn was always asking Joe where he'd gone and lifting her weary eyes to him.
From this point forward she appeared only in famous movies. Two years later she married playwright Arthur Miller. She divorced him in 1961 and spent the rest of her short life Artlessly.
Forty years ago today she died of natural causes, aggravated by sleeping pills, in her Brentwood home.
The federal government levied an income tax for the first time on this date in 1861.
Once again, it's all about death and taxes.
August 5 is the birthday of Patrick Ewing (1962), Loni Anderson (1946), Neil Armstrong (1930), and John Huston (1906). It's also my mother's birthday, but I don't think she reads the Almanac now that I've suspended publication of the large print edition.
It's Thanksgiving in Croatia, Independence Day in Jamaica, Flag Day in Japan, Discovery Day in Trinidad and Tobago, and Colorado Day in the state of that name.
© 2002, The Moron's Almanac