Guest Author - Amber Grey
America entered The Korean War in 1950 in order to help defend South Korea from the communist North Korea. On January 14, 1954, on the other side of the globe, America's sex symbol Marilyn Monroe married New York Yankees baseball player Joe Dimaggio. While honeymooning in Japan, Marilyn was contacted to entertain the troops in Korea. Although a lot of reports say this was the first rift among the many that would lead to their divorce, Marilyn recorded the contrary in her book, "My Story." When she looked to her new husband for permission, Joe said, "She can do anything she wants. It's her honeymoon...Go ahead."
While Joe stayed in Japan, Marilyn flew to Korea. First, she performed for wounded GIs in a hospital and then went on to perform for the 45th Army Divison. While she stood backstage, the troops shouted her name and, in their exhuberant anticipation, hurled rocks on stage. She had to go on ahead of schedule. She sang her infamous rendition of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," and though Marilyn later admitted she felt it slightly inappropriate in the scope of things, the troops enjoyed it immensely.
Marilyn Monroe performed nonstop for different divisions, doing ten USO shows in just four days. On February 17, 1954, Marilyn performed "Anything Goes" for the 3rd Us Infantry Division in nothing but a plum dress and beautiful smile, despite the freezing weather. That image has become one of among her famous photographs. Not only did Marilyn entertain them with her songs, but also showed them a bit of her humor, "You fellas are always whistling at sweater girls. well take away the sweaters and what have you got?"
After the brief tour, Marilyn returned to Tokyo with a fever and pneumonia but she never regretted visiting the troops. In fact, the trip not only remained special in her heart but also made her realize, "Gee, I never thought I had an effect on people until I was in Korea." And her support didn't stop after her visit, "People ask me if I'm going to continue making cheesecake pictures now that I'm a star. My answer is that as long as there is a boy in Korea who wants a pinup of me, I'll go on posing them."