A 1942 University High School “Chieftain” Yearbook

An original 1942 University High School “Chieftain” yearbook, showing a young Norma Baker in the tenth grade. This was Marilyn Monroe’s final year of education as she soon dropped out to marry her sweetheart Jimmy Dougherty. They wed on June 19, 1942. He was 21, she was 16.

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This yearbook is from the personal collection of Mrs. Ruby Plank Wilson. Ruby and Marilyn sat across from each other in many classes, and she remembers most the English class they had together. They often had lunch together and met after school at the drug store in Sawtelle, which was a hang out for many of the students. One day, Norma wrote Ruby a note telling her that she was going to get married and that day was her last day in high school. Norma asked Ruby if she would like to meet her fiancé as she and Jimmy were going to be in the drug store after school was out. Ruby did meet them, and wished them much happiness. Ruby honestly did not know that Norma was living with a foster family as she never talked about them.

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Ruby remembers a time in the English class she and Norma had together. Mr. Henley, the English teacher, had his class study the book “A Tale of Two Cities.” He decided to have a short play in class, and he chose Norma, Ruby, and one of the boys in class to perform in the play. Ruby played the part of Miss Lucy and Norma and the young man had the other starring roles. Mr. Henley referred to Ruby as Miss Lucy until the day she left school. In looking at the yearbook, Mr. Henley signed his wishes to Ruby using “Miss Lucy.”

Ruby remembers Norma being a very quiet, shy and dear person all through school: “Norma was not exceptionally popular with the male students in their class, but a very lovely young lady.”

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