Monroe's dress from the event
"Happy Birthday, Mr. President" is a song sung by actress and singer on May 19, 1962, for President at a celebration of his 45th birthday, 10 days before the actual date (May 29).
Monroe sang the traditional "" lyrics in a sultry, intimate voice, with "" inserted as Kennedy's name. She continued the song with a snippet from the classic song, "", for which she had written new lyrics specifically aimed at Kennedy.
Thanks, Mr. President
For all the things you've done
The battles that you've won
The way you deal with
And our problems by the ton
We thank you so much
Afterwards, as an enormous birthday cake was presented to him, President Kennedy came on stage and joked about Monroe's version of the 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 .
The performance was one of her last major public appearances before less than three months later on August 5, 1962. First Lady , who rarely attended Democratic Party events, spent the day at the Loudon Hunt Horse Show with her children, and .
Monroe was accompanied by pianist .
President Kennedy's birthday celebration was held at the on May 19, 1962, and more than 15,000 people attended, including numerous celebrities. The event was a fundraising gala for the .
Monroe's dress was made of a sheer and marquisette fabric, with 2,500 shimmering sewn into it. The dress was so tight-fitting that Monroe had difficulty putting it on; she wore nothing under it. It was designed by Jean Louis.
was at the event that night to introduce Monroe. He made a play on the actress's reputation for tardiness by giving her a number of introductions throughout the night, after which she did not appear on stage. When Monroe finally appeared in a spotlight, Lawford introduced her as the "late Marilyn Monroe". Monroe peeled off her white fur coat, revealing the dress, and the audience gasped.
The event was staged and produced by Broadway composer and lyricist . It was choreographed by of fame.
Monroe's iconic dress was made by designer and originally cost ,440.33 (equivalent to ,970 in 2016). The dress sold in 1999 at an auction in New York City for over .26 million (equivalent to .75 million in 2016). Canadian Billionaire subsequently purchased the dress on November 17, 2016, at a Los Angeles auction for .8 million.
made a famous parody of the song on during the 1990s, singing "Happy Inauguration, Mr. President" (season 18, episode 11), singing to President (played by ), who had recently been elected, his wife (played by ), and their daughter (performed by ).
In the 1992 film , imitates the song as his character, Wayne, while Wayne's girlfriend Cassandra () is on the phone. In 1994, Mathilda () reenacts Myer's scene in . At the time, she had never seen Marilyn Monroe's performance.
Spice Girl performed the song in 1998 for ' 50th birthday celebration, replacing the line "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" with "Happy Birthday, ".
In an episode of , Skyler White sings the song to her boss Ted Beneke for his birthday.
American musician reenacted the performance in the music video for her song "", with herself as Monroe.
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