In honor of the Memorial Day holiday, I wanted to present the newest addition to the Marilyn Monroe Collection: Marilyn’s personal hand-drawn invitation to have lunch with the men of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Inf Division while in Korea on February 18, 1954. Note this invitation on the table in the photo below, circled in red.
The invitation reads: “Headquarters and Headquarters Company 2d Inf Division APO 248 US Army. The enlisted men of Headquarters and Headquarters Company 2d Infantry Division, request the pleasure of Marilyn Monroe’s company for lunch at the Headquarters Company Enlisted Men’s Mess Hall 2d Infantry Division Command Post, on Thursday, 18 February, 1954 at 1215 Hours.”
Accompanying the invitation is another panel of similar size with the signed names of approximately 130 enlisted Men of HQ & HQ Co. [FWD], 2d Infantry Division.
In February 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were newlyweds, on a trip in Japan, when the bride took a detour to Korea to entertain the troops. She performed ten shows in four days, in front of audiences that totaled more than 100,000 soldiers and marines. Journalist Hanson Baldwin from the New York Times wrote about Marilyn’s tour: “On two occasions during the visit of the motion picture actress, troops rioted widely and behaved like bobbysoxers in Times Square, not like soldiers proud of their uniform.” Marilyn is reported to have said, “I never thought I had an effect on people until I was in Korea. It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”
Considering my own military service I’ve always wanted to have something from Marilyn’s USO tour. Marilyn is reported to have said, “I never thought I had an effect on people until I was in Korea. It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”
“All gave some, some gave all.” Remember today those who served in the US armed services.