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Happy Birthday, Carole Lombard!

To celebrate, since it’s Friday too, here are some gossip items about Carole’s birthday over the years, some I’ve printed before, some I haven’t:

From 1931:

Yesterday was Carole Lombard’s birthday. Husband Bill Powell gave her an antique silver service and a china set.

From 1937:

Carole Lombard had a birthday. 

Firecrackers exploded under her chair.

There was a rubber spider in her makeup box.

Carole ate cotton-stuffed candy.

Carole struck a match–it exploded.

Carole lit a cigarette–it exploded.

Carole shook the salt shaker–it contained sugar.

Carole’s wondering if it isn’t a pretty high price to pay to maintain her reputation as moviedom’s leading practical joker.

From 1939:

On Carole Lombard’s birthday had to report to work for “Vigil in the Night,” so Clark Gable, for a rib, had the Western Union’s singing operators call her every half hour.

1940:

I’m told Clark Gable spent a month’s salary on those new diamond earrings you’ll see hanging from Carole Lombard’s lovely lobes. Only the best for his bride on her birthday!

1941:

When bigger and better pranks are played in Hollywood, you can be sure of one thing–Gable and Lombard will play ’em. When Lombard’s birthday rolled around, Gable had made an enormous cake carefully iced on top–“To Ma–on her 75th Birthday”. When Carole cut the cake, imagine her surprise to hear coming from the cake’s innards a conversation between Clark and a friend.

“Now Clark, the gag is for you to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Carole.”

“What? Me sing? Nothing doing,” said Gable’s voice. “Next thing you know the studio will have me in singing films.”

“Well,” came back the friend’s voice, “you could do worse. Remember ‘Parnell.’”

Whereupon Clark sang Happy Birthday to Carole, who was so touched she offered to get him a job with Western Union, if he wanted it.

Of course it was a concealed record playing inside. Carole is keeping the record.

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Little Jane Alice Peters, who would later change her name to Carole Lombard, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 8, 1908 to Fred and Elizabeth Peters. Here she is, top of the list!

carole lombard birth fort wayne

Here are the some of the headlines from the Fort Wayne newspaper that day:

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR BUSY: FAVORS A PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION FOR INDIANA

TAFT FORCED TO FIND ISSUES OF HIS OWN

SHERIDAN MONUMENT TO BE ERECTED IN WASHINGTON DC

SNEAK THIEF HAD EFFEMINATE TASTE

PURCHASING OF NEW GOLF GROUNDS POSTPHONED

BOWLING SEASON OPENS AT ST. MARY’S

WOMAN ADJUDGED INSANE AFTER SUICIDE ATTEMPT

WHEAT UPLIFTED BY WAR-SCARE, CORN UNSTEADY

CATTLE PRICES DOWN, LAMB S ARE STILL ADVANCING

WILD FLUCTUATIONS ON WALL STREET CAUSED BY WAR RUMORS

And this blurb caught my eye:

The Journal-Gazette will pay a reward of $500 for information that will lead to the identification of the person or persons who stole a mailing list from the Journal-Gazette office. This is ready money. We will protect the party giving the information and enter into contract to do so.

$500 in 1908?? That’s a lot of money!!

And the low was 49 and the high was an unseasonably warm 76, in case you were wondering.