Carole Lombard died 75 years ago today, at the age of only 33. Every year this day comes around and every year I can’t believe she’s been gone as long as she has been.
This being the 75th anniversary of her death, I am going to spend the next few days chronicling the newspaper headlines that everyone was reading each morning. Back before the news was immediate and in the palm of your hand–when you had to wait between the morning edition and the evening edition or crowd around your radio to get the latest news.
Since the plane crashed in the evening, the headlines the morning of January 16 were all applauding Carole’s triumphant bond rally in Indiana.
Carole Lombard Sells $2,000,000 of Defense Bonds
Carole Lombard, Star Saleswoman
Carole Lombard: “Do Without Luxuries”
$2,017,513 in Defense Bonds Are Sold By Actress in an Hour
Carole Lombard Proves Excellent Saleswoman at Defense Stamp Rally
Indianapolis–Carole Lombard’s performance in the country’s first statewide war rally proved she can sell as well as act.
This tall, blonde movie star peddled $2,017,513 in defense bonds in one hour yesterday in a crowded statehouse corridor. This was at the rate of $500.42 a second.
Last night she and Will H. Hays, president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, and Governor Schricker urged an overflow audience of more than $12,000 in Cadle Tabernacle to buy more bonds.
Miss Lombard, wearing a strapless black velvet gown and silver fox cape, said, “People are learning to do without their little luxuries in order to gain victory and peace.”
“We are fighting a war to win a peace,” she declared. “We know what it will cost, but the peace will be priceless.”
She led the crowd in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Hays, former postmaster general and former Republican national chairman, called for the buying of defense bonds and stamps “because they are an investment in freedom and a decent life.”
“We have bragged….” said he, “that we are more powerful, greater in every way than any other nation….If, through the grace of God, we have that gift and quality of invincibility, the time has come to lay it on the line.”
“We now have an inescapable dual obligation–the obligation to render personal service and the obligation to finance every momentous military need,” he stressed. “We must use or money to insure those services to our country which we ourselves cannot render.”
The governor came forward with a war slogan, borrowed from an Indianapolis friend: “Sacrifice, Save and Serve.”
Eugene C. Pulliam of Indianapolis, executive chairman of the Indiana defense saving staff, said, “Defense knows no party lines.”
He called upon State Chairman Fred Bays of the Democrats and Ralph Gates of the Republicans to “shake hands for the duration.” They did.
The Indiana and Purdue University bands and drum and bugle corps, soldiers and sailors and Culver Military Academy cadets were on hand.
The rally was a homecoming occasion for both Miss Lombard and Hays. She was born in in Fort Wayne–her name was Jane Peters–and he in Sullivan.
Tomorrow the headlines turned grim…