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May 1, 2023

Candid Photos of Marilyn Monroe at Madison Square Garden During Rehearsal for JFK‘s Birthday Gala, 1962

Marilyn Monroe was meticulous about this appearance, and she valued it enough to spend $12,000.00 on a dress that she’d asked Oscar winning designer Jean Luis to create for her. “I want you to design a truly historical dress, a dazzling dress that’s one of a kind,” she said to him. “A dress that only Marilyn Monroe could wear.”

Marilyn planned and rehearsed the song she was to sing for her performance, and she sang it to President Kennedy exactly the way she’d rehearsed it. She also rehearsed the song at Madison Square Garden the morning of the performance.

According to Joan Copeland, the younger sister of playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe’s former husband, Monroe was so late to go on stage that night that she missed her cue. Watching her “running around trying to find a door,” Copeland noticed that Monroe was out of breath and anxious, and consequently was unable to sing properly. 


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