Category: lauren bacall

Frank Sinatra lighting the cigarette of Lauren Bacall at the…

Frank Sinatra lighting the cigarette of Lauren Bacall at the post-party of the world premiere of ‘A Star is Born’ in 1954. Photographed by Murray Garrett.

A look back at the star-studded Hollywood premiere of ‘A Star Is…

A look back at the star-studded Hollywood premiere of ‘A Star Is Born’ in 1954.

Beautiful behind-the-scenes photos of Betty Grable, Lauren…

Beautiful behind-the-scenes photos of Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe together in “How to Marry a Millionaire” (1953).

Lauren Bacall, 1944.

Lauren Bacall, 1944.

Before she was famous: Pictures of Lauren Bacall in makeup and…

Before she was famous: Pictures of Lauren Bacall in makeup and hair tests for “To Have and Have Not”, 1944.

Rare photos of actors Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart enjoying…

Rare photos of actors Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart enjoying a day of sailing in 1946.

Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall: Celebrity best love story,…

Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall: Celebrity best love story, ever.

Lauren Bacall sits on a piano while Vice Presi…

Lauren Bacall sits on a piano while Vice President Harry Truman plays

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Ronald Reagan campaigning for Harry S. Truman. Also visible,…

Ronald Reagan campaigning for Harry S. Truman. Also visible, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, 1948

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In February 1945, actress Lauren Bacall sits atop the piano…

In February 1945, actress Lauren Bacall sits atop the piano while then Vice President Harry S. Truman plays a tune for a Servicemen’s party at the National Press Club.

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Here’s some background on the event:

Before Bacall was truly a big star, she paid a visit in February of that year to the National Press Club in the nation’s capital as a surprise guest for U.S. troops. “The story is that during World War II the club was open on Saturdays for servicemen to get free hot dogs and beer,” explained Gilbert Klein, an American University journalism professor and the chairman of the press club’s history committee. “Politicians could come, but they weren’t allowed to talk for more than two minutes.”

Truman, at that time President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s veep, tried something a little different from talking: He decided to tickle the ivories in the club’s ballroom. “At that time, Truman didn’t have much to do – he was vice president, he was presiding over the Senate and had speaking engagements, but he wasn’t nearly as busy as he was when he was a senator,” said Randy Sowell, an archivist at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. “And so he had some free time on his hands and he enjoyed going to events like that.”

Bacall popped out. Her press agent suggested she jump on top of the piano. She and the vice president posed for photographers. “What disturbed many people was that Truman appeared to be having such a good time, which he was,” wrote historian David McCullough in his enormous biography, “Truman.” “Bess was furious. She told him he should play the piano in public no more,” McCullough wrote of the vice president’s wife.

But Bacall did appear with Truman again. “Thereafter, she was sort of associated with Mr. Truman and she and her husband Humphrey Bogart were two Hollywood celebrities who supported Truman in 1948” .