Women's Auxiliary Air Force
The Women's Auxiliary Air Force, whose members were referred to as WAAFs, was the female auxiliary of the Royal Air Force during World War II, established in 1939. At its peak strength, in 1943, WAAF numbers exceeded 180,000, with over 2,000 women enlisting per week. A Women's Royal Air Force had existed from 1918 to 1920; the WAAF was created on 28 June 1939, absorbing the forty-eight RAF companies of the Auxiliary Territorial Service which had existed since 1938. Conscription of women did not begin until 1941, it only applied to those between 20 and 30 years of age and they had the choice of the auxiliary services or factory work. Women recruited into the WAAF were given basic training at one of five sites, though not all of the sites ran training simultaneously; the five sites were at West Drayton, Bridgnorth and Wilmslow. All WAAF basic recruit training was located at Wilmslow from 1943. WAAFs did not serve as aircrew; the use of women pilots was limited to the Air Transport Auxiliary, civilian.
Although they did not participate in active combat, they were exposed to the same dangers as any on the "home front" working at military installations. They were active in parachute packing and the crewing of barrage balloons in addition to performing catering, radar, aircraft maintenance, communications duties including wireless telephonic and telegraphic operation, they worked with codes and ciphers, analysed reconnaissance photographs, performed intelligence operations. WAAFs were a vital presence in the control of aircraft, both in radar stations and iconically as plotters in operation rooms, most notably during the Battle of Britain; these operation rooms directed fighter aircraft against the Luftwaffe, mapping both home and enemy aircraft positions. Air Force nurses belonged to Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service instead. Female medical and dental officers were held RAF ranks. WAAFs were paid two-thirds of the pay of male counterparts in RAF ranks. By the end of World War II, WAAF enrolment had declined and the effect of demobilisation was to take the vast majority out of the service.
The remainder, now only several hundred strong, was renamed the Women's Royal Air Force on 1 February 1949. The WAAF used the ATS ranking system, although the director held the rank of "Senior Controller" instead of "Chief Controller" as in the ATS. However, in December 1939 the name was changed to Air Commandant, when the ranks were renamed and reorganized, other ranks now held identical ranks to male RAF personnel, but officers continued to have a separate rank system, although now different from that of the ATS. From February 1940 it was no longer possible to enter directly as an officer. From July 1941 WAAF officers held full commissions. On 1 January 1943, the rank of Air Chief Commandant was created with the director's appointment to that rank. On 1 July 1939, Jane Trefusis Forbes was made Director of WAAF, with the rank of Senior Controller Air Commandant. On 1 January 1943 she was appointed to the rank of Air Chief Commandant with its creation. On 4 October 1943, while Forbes toured Canada, assessing the Royal Canadian Air Force Women's Division, she was relieved by HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, head of the WAAF since 1939, again with the rank of Senior Controller Air Commandant, being gazetted to Air Chief Commandant on 22 March 1943.
Forbes retired in August 1944, the post of director was given to Mary Welsh, appointed Air Chief Commandant. After the war, the rank of Air Chief Commandant was suspended and in December 1946, the final director of WAAF, Felicity Hanbury, was appointed. Air Chief Commandant Dame Jane Trefusis Forbes, June 1939 – 4 October 1943 Air Chief Commandant HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, 4 October 1943 – August 1944 Air Chief Commandant Dame Mary Welsh, August 1944 – November 1946 Air Commandant Dame Felicity Hanbury, December 1946 – January 1949 Several members of the WAAF served with the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan, posthumously Mentioned in Dispatches and awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Gold Star and the George Cross, Britain's highest award for gallantry not in the face of the enemy. Section Officer Yvonne Baseden Section Officer Yolande Beekman, posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Assistant Section Officer Sonya Butt Section Officer Muriel Byck Flight Officer Yvonne Cormeau, awarded the MBE, the Légion d'honneur, Croix de Guerre and Médaille combattant volontaire de la Résistance.
Flight Officer Alix D'Unienville Flight Officer Krystyna Skarbek, awarded the OBE, George Medal and Croix de Guerre. Section Officer Mary Katherine Herbert Section Officer Phyllis Latour Section Officer Cecily Lefort, posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Section Officer Patricia O'Sullivan Sergeant Haviva Reik Assistant Section Officer Lilian Rolfe, posthumously awarded the MBE and the Croix de Guerre. Section Officer Diana Rowden, posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre. Section Officer Anne-Marie Walters, awarded the MBE. Nursing Orderlies of the WAAF flew on RAF transport planes to evacuate the wounded from the Normandy battlefields, they were dubbed Flying Nightingales by the press. The RAF Air Ambulance Unit flew under 46 Group Transport Command from RAF Down Ampney, RAF Broadwell, RAF Blakehill Farm. RAF Dakota aircraft carried military supplies and ammunition so could not display th
Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East, the 15th-largest in the world, is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 CE by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Middle East, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University. Many international media and organizations have regional headquarters in the city.
With a population of over 9 million spread over 3,085 square kilometers, Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other megacities, suffers from high levels of traffic. Cairo's metro, one of two in Africa, ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides; the economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, 43rd globally on Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index. Egyptians refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's importance for the country, its official name al-Qāhirah means "the Vanquisher" or "the Conqueror" due to the fact that the planet Mars, an-Najm al-Qāhir, was rising at the time when the city was founded also in reference to the much awaited arrival of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu'izz who reached Cairo in 973 from Mahdia, the old Fatimid capital. The location of the ancient city of Heliopolis is the suburb of Ain Shams.
The Coptic name of the city is Kashromi which means "man breaker", akin to Arabic al-Qāhirah . Sometimes the city is informally referred to as Kayro by people from Alexandria; the area around present-day Cairo Memphis, the old capital of Egypt, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta. However, the origins of the modern city are traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile; this fortress, known as Babylon, was the nucleus of the Roman and the Byzantine city and is the oldest structure in the city today. It is situated at the nucleus of the Coptic Orthodox community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine churches in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo's oldest Coptic churches, including the Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo.
Following the Muslim conquest in 640 AD, the conqueror Amr ibn As settled to the north of the Babylon in an area that became known as al-Fustat. A tented camp Fustat became a permanent settlement and the first capital of Islamic Egypt. In 750, following the overthrow of the Umayyad caliphate by the Abbasids, the new rulers created their own settlement to the northeast of Fustat which became their capital; this was known as al-Askar. A rebellion in 869 by Ahmad ibn Tulun led to the abandonment of Al Askar and the building of another settlement, which became the seat of government; this was al-Qatta ` closer to the river. Al Qatta'i was centred around a ceremonial mosque, now known as the Mosque of ibn Tulun. In 905, the Abbasids re-asserted control of the country and their governor returned to Fustat, razing al-Qatta'i to the ground. Since 1860s, Cairo expanded west as far as what is called now In 968, the Fatimids were led by general Jawhar al-Siqilli to establish a new capital for the Fatimid dynasty.
Egypt was conquered from their base in Ifriqiya and a new fortified city northeast of Fustat was established. It took four years to build the city known as al-Manṣūriyyah, to serve as the new capital of the caliphate. During that time, Jawhar commissioned the construction of the al-Azhar Mosque by order of the Caliph, which developed into the third-oldest university in the world. Cairo would become a centre of learning, with the library of Cairo containing hundreds of thousands of books; when Caliph al-Mu'izz li Din Allah arrived from the old Fatimid capital of Mahdia in Tunisia in 973, he gave the city its present name, al-Qāhiratu. For nearly 200 years after Cairo was established, the administrative centre of Egypt remained in Fustat. However, in 1168 the Fatimids under the leadership of vizier Shawar set fire to Fustat to prevent Cairo's capture by the Crusaders. Egypt's capital was permanently moved to Cairo, expanded to include the ruins of Fustat and the previous capitals of
Daniele Cortis is a 1947 Italian drama film directed by Mario Soldati and starring Vittorio Gassman, Sarah Churchill and Gino Cervi. The film depicts the breakdown of an unhappy marriage in nineteenth-century Italy, it is an adaptation of the 1885 novel of the same title by Antonio Fogazzaro Vittorio Gassman as Daniele Cortis Sarah Churchill as Elena Gino Cervi as Il marito di Elena Evi Maltagliati as Isa Gualtiero Tumiati as Aldo Rubi D'Alma as Noemi Massimo Pianforini as Valentino Marco Tulli as Diego From a contemporary review, the Monthly Film Bulletin review noted that their print was cut by about 35 minutes and featured "indifferent dubbing" and a "very poor print quality". The review found that with these issues the film was "incomprehensible", but the film was "an astonishing example of how such mutilation can change a film, which in this case was of indifferent quality." Daniele Cortis on IMDb
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough rose to be one of the most influential women of her time through her close friendship with Anne, Queen of Great Britain. Sarah's friendship and influence with Princess Anne were known, leading public figures turned their attentions to her in the hope that she would influence Anne to comply with requests; as a result, by the time Anne became Queen, Sarah’s knowledge of government, intimacy with the queen, had made her a powerful friend and a dangerous enemy. Sarah enjoyed a "long and devoted" relationship with her husband of more than 40 years, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, she acted as Anne's agent after James II, was deposed during the Glorious Revolution. When Anne came to the throne after William's death in 1702, the Duke of Marlborough, together with Sidney Godolphin, the first Earl of Godolphin, rose to head the government owing to his wife's friendship with the queen. While the Duke was out of the country commanding troops in the War of the Spanish Succession, Sarah kept him informed of court intrigue, while he sent her requests and political advice, which she would convey to the queen.
Sarah tirelessly campaigned on behalf of the Whigs, while devoting much of her time to building projects such as Blenheim Palace. Sarah, a strong-willed woman, strained her relationship with the Queen whenever she disagreed with the Queen on political, court, or church appointments. After her final break with Anne in 1711, Sarah and her husband were dismissed from the court, but she had her revenge under the Hanoverians following Anne's death, she had famous subsequent disagreements with many important people, including her daughter the second Duchess of Marlborough. The money she inherited from the Marlborough trust left her one of the richest women in Europe, she died in 1744, aged 84. Sarah Jennings was born on 5 June 1660 at Holywell House, St Albans, Hertfordshire, she was the daughter of Richard Jennings, a Member of Parliament, Frances Thornhurst. Her uncle was a prominent naturalist. Richard Jennings came into contact with James, Duke of York, in 1663, during negotiations for the recovery of an estate in Kent, the property of his mother-in-law, Susan Lister.
James's first impressions were favourable, in 1664 Sarah’s sister, was appointed maid of honour to the Duchess of York, Anne Hyde. Although James forced Frances to give up the post because of her marriage to a Catholic, James did not forget the family. In 1673, Sarah entered court as maid of honour to Mary of Modena. Sarah became close to the young Princess Anne in about 1675, the friendship grew stronger as the two grew older. In late 1675, when she was still only fifteen, she met John Churchill, 10 years her senior, who fell in love with her. Churchill, a lover of Charles II’s mistress, Barbara Palmer, Duchess of Cleveland, had little to offer financially, as his estates were in debt. Sarah had a rival for Churchill in Catherine Sedley, a wealthy mistress of James II and the choice of Churchill's father, Sir Winston Churchill, anxious to restore the family's fortune. John may have hoped to take Sarah as a mistress in place of the Duchess of Cleveland, who had departed for France, but surviving letters from Sarah to John show her unwillingness to assume that role.
In 1677, Sarah's brother Ralph died, she and her sister, became co-heirs of the Jennings estates in Hertfordshire and Kent. John chose Sarah over Catherine Sedley, but both John's and Sarah's families disapproved of the match, therefore they married secretly in the winter of 1677–78. John and Sarah were both Protestants in a predominantly Catholic court, a circumstance that would influence their political allegiances. Although no date was recorded, the marriage was announced only to the Duchess of York, a small circle of friends, so that Sarah could keep her court position as Maid of Honour; when Sarah became pregnant, her marriage was announced publicly, she retired from the court to give birth to her first child, who died in infancy. When the Duke of York went into self-imposed exile to Scotland as a result of the furore surrounding the Popish Plot and Sarah accompanied him, Charles II rewarded John's loyalty by creating him Baron Churchill of Eyemouth in Scotland, Sarah thus becoming Lady Churchill.
The Duke of York returned to England after the religious tension had eased, Sarah was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Anne after the latter's marriage in 1683. The early reign of James II was successful. In addition, his daughter and heir was a Protestant. However, when James attempted to reform the national religion, popular discontent against him and his government became widespread; the level of alarm increased when Queen Mary gave birth to a Roman Catholic son and heir, Prince James Francis Edward, on 10 June 1688. A group of politicians known as the Immortal Seven invited Prince William of Orange, husband of James's Protestant daughter Mary, to invade England and remove James from power, though the plan became public knowledge quickly
HM Prison Holloway
HM Prison Holloway was a closed category prison for adult women and young offenders in Holloway, England, operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service. It was the largest women's prison in western Europe until its closure in 2016. Holloway prison was opened in 1852 as a mixed-sex prison, but due to growing demand for space for female prisoners due to the closure of Newgate, it became female-only in 1903. Holloway was used to imprison suffragettes including Emmeline Pankhurst, Emily Davison, Constance Markievicz, Charlotte Despard, Mary Richardson, Dora Montefiore, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, Ethel Smyth; until 1991, the Prison was staffed by Home Office appointed, female Prison Officers. However, The first'Male, basic grade' Prison Officer to be posted to HMP Holloway in its history, was Prison Officer Thomas Ainsworth, who joined the establishment direct from HMP College Wakefield in May 1991. After the death from suicide in January 2016 of inmate Sarah Reed, a paranoid schizophrenic being held on remand, the subsequent inquest in July 2017 identified failings in the care system.
Shortly after Reed died, a report concluded. Holloway Prison was rebuilt between 1971 and 1985 on the same site; the redevelopment resulted in the loss of the "grand turreted" gateway to the prison, built in 1851. Holloway Prison held young offenders remanded or sentenced by the local courts. Accommodation at the prison was single cells. Holloway Prison offered both full-time and part-time education to inmates, with courses including skills training workshops, British Industrial Cleaning Science and painting. There was a family-friendly visitors' centre, run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust, an independent charity; the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced in his Autumn Statement on 25 November 2015 that the prison would close and would be sold for housing. It closed in July 2016, with prisoners being moved to HMP Downview and HMP Bronzefield, both in Surrey; as of September 2017 the prison buildings still stand, with draft proposals for the site including housing, a public open green space, women's centre and a small amount of commercial space.
For decades, British campaigners had argued for votes for women. It was only when a number of suffragists, despairing of change through peaceful means, decided to turn to militant protest that the "suffragette" was born; these women broke the law in pursuit of their aims, many were imprisoned at Holloway, where they were treated as common criminals, not political prisoners. In protest, some went on hunger strike and were force fed so Holloway has a large symbolic role in the history of women's rights in the UK. Suffragettes imprisoned there include Emmeline Pankhurst, Emily Davison, Constance Markievicz, Charlotte Despard, Mary Richardson, Dora Montefiore, Christabel Pankhurst, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, Leonora Tyson and Ethel Smyth. In 1912 the anthem of the suffragettes - "The March of the Women", composed by Ethel Smyth with lyrics by Cicely Hamilton - was performed there. Holloway held Diana Mitford under Defence Regulation 18B during World War II, after a personal intervention from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, her husband Sir Oswald Mosley was moved there.
The couple lived together in a cottage in the prison grounds. They were released in 1943. Norah Elam had the distinction of being detained during both World Wars, three times during 1914 as a suffragette prisoner under the name Dacre Fox as a detainee under Regulation 18B in 1940, when she was part of the social circle that gathered around the Mosleys during their early internment period. After her release, Elam had the further distinction of being the only former member of the British Union of Fascists to be granted a visit with Oswald Mosley during his period of detention there. A total of five judicial executions by hanging took place at Holloway Prison between 1903 and 1955: Amelia Sach and Annie Walters - 3 February 1903 Edith Thompson - 9 January 1923 Styllou Christofi - 13 December 1954 Ruth Ellis - 13 July 1955The bodies of all executed prisoners were buried in unmarked graves within the walls of the prison, as was customary. In 1971 the prison underwent an extensive programme of rebuilding, during which the remains of all the executed women were exhumed.
With the exception of Ruth Ellis, the remains of the four other women were subsequently reburied in a single grave at Brookwood Cemetery near Woking, Surrey. Noteworthy inmates that were held at the original 1852-era prison include Oscar Wilde, William Thomas Stead, Isabella Glyn, F. Digby Hardy, Kitty Byron and Lady Ida Sitwell, wife of Sir George Sitwell. More it housed, in 1966, Moors murderess Myra Hindley. Other inmates included Amie Bartholomew, Emma Last, Matthew Etherington, Alison Walder, Jayne Richards, the Tinsel Fight Murderer, Bella Coll, Chantal McCorkle and Emma Humphreys. In October 1999, it was announced that healthcare campaigner and agony aunt Claire Rayner had been called in to advise on an
John Gilbert Winant
John Gilbert Winant OM was an American politician with the Republican party after a brief career as a teacher in Concord, New Hampshire. John Winant held positions in New Hampshire and international politics, he was the first man to serve more than a single two-year term as Governor of New Hampshire, winning election three times. Winant served as U. S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom during most of World War II. Depressed by career disappointments, a failed marriage and heavy debts, he died by suicide in 1947. Winant was born on New York City, the son of Frederick and Jeanette Winant, his father was a partner in a prosperous real estate company. Winant attended St. Paul's School in Concord and progressed to Princeton University, but he was a poor student, left without graduating, he was appointed an instructor in history at St. Paul's in 1913, remaining there until 1917, he was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1916. In 1917, he joined the United States Army Air Service, trained as a pilot, commanded the 8th Aero Squadron in France, with the rank of captain.
Winant returned to his position at St. Paul's in 1919 after his military service, was elected to the New Hampshire Senate in 1920, he lost money in oil stocks in 1929. He twice served as Governor of New Hampshire: from 1925 to 1927, from 1931 to 1935, he served his terms during the Great Depression and responded in several ways. He oversaw an emergency credit act which allowed the state to guarantee debts of municipalities so that local governments could continue, he pushed through a minimum wage act for children. During the depression, Winant fought to keep improving the state's highways while reorganizing the state banking commission and pursuing more accurate accounting of state agencies' funds. Working with the federal government, Winant was the first governor whose state filled its enrollment quota in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Subsequently, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Winant to be the first head of the Social Security Board in 1935, a position he held until 1937. At the time, it was rumored that Roosevelt appointed Winant to prevent him from running for President in 1936, but Winant never admitted to Presidential aspirations.
The next year, he was elected to head the International Labor Office in Geneva, from January 1939. As Director-General, he was succeeded by Edward J. Phelan. In 1941, Roosevelt appointed Winant ambassador to Britain, Winant remained in that post until he resigned in March 1946. In a 2010 book, Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour, author Lynne Olson described Winant as changing the U. S. stance as ambassador when succeeding pro-appeasement ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.. Upon landing at Bristol airport in England in March 1941, Winant announced "I'm glad to be here. There is no place I'd rather be at this time than in England." The remark heartened a country that had come through the Battle of Britain and was in the midst of The Blitz, it was featured on the front pages of most British newspapers the next day. The new ambassador developed close contacts with King George VI and Prime Minister Winston Churchill though the U. S. was only providing military aid with the Axis not yet declaring war on the U.
S. Winant, according to the book, had an affair with Churchill's second daughter Sarah Churchill during this time. Winant was with Winston Churchill when he learned that Pearl Harbor had been attacked on December 7, 1941. President Harry S. Truman appointed Winant U. S. representative to UNESCO in 1946, although he retired to Concord shortly after to write his memoirs. However, he found himself unable to adjust to a quieter pace of life.'Everywhere Winant turned he saw the drama in which he had participated so drawing to a close'. Estranged from his ambitious wife and in debt, he became profoundly depressed. Winant married Constance Rivington Russell in 1919, they had a daughter and two sons, John Jr. and Rivington. Constance married Carlos Valando, a Peruvian scientist, in 1941. John Winant Jr. was taken prisoner by the Germans. Sent to Colditz, he was removed in April 1945 as one of the'Prominente' to be used as a bargaining chip by Himmler and the SS as the end of the war approached. Rivington Winant served in World War II and became treasurer at the United Nations.
In 1947, Winant shot himself in the head at his Concord home on the day his book Letter from Grosvenor Square was published. The book Citizens of London reports that after Roosevelt's death, with Winant's distance from his Republican Party base, "e hoped that he was going to become secretary-general of the new UN.... On top of that, his affair with Sarah Churchill ended badly.'He was an exhausted, sick man after the war,'" author Olson continued in the interview on NPR. Winston Churchill sent four dozen yellow roses to Winant's funeral, the British king and queen sent their condolences by telegram. Winant was buried at Blossom Hill cemetery in Concord. However, in the more secular culture of 1968, his casket was reinterred at St Paul's, his epitaph was his 1946 quote: "Doing the day's work day by day, doing a little, adding a little, broadening our bases wanting not only for ourselves but for others a fairer chance for all people everywhe
Jack Benny was an American comedian, radio and film actor, violinist. Recognized as a leading 20th-century American entertainer, Benny portrayed his character as a miser, playing his violin badly, claiming to be 39 years of age, regardless of his actual age. Benny was known for his comic timing and the ability to cause laughter with a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature exasperated "Well!" His radio and television programs, popular from 1932 until his death in 1974, were a major influence on the sitcom genre. Benny was born in Chicago and grew up in nearby Waukegan, Illinois, he was the son of Jewish immigrants Meyer Kubelsky and Emma Sachs Kubelsky, sometimes called "Naomi." Meyer was a saloon owner and a haberdasher who had emigrated to America from Poland. Emma had emigrated from Lithuania. Benny began studying violin, an instrument that became his trademark, at the age of 6, his parents hoping for him to become a professional violinist, he loved the instrument, but hated practice.
His music teacher was father of Otto Graham of NFL fame. At 14, Benny was playing in his high school orchestra, he was a dreamer and poor at his studies, was expelled from high school. He did poorly in business school and at attempts to join his father's business. In 1911, he began playing the violin in local vaudeville theaters for $7.50 a week. He was joined on the circuit by a young composer and singer; that same year, Benny was playing in the same theater as the young Marx Brothers. Minnie, their mother, enjoyed Benny's violin playing and invited him to accompany her boys in their act. Benny's parents refused to let their son go on the road at 17, but it was the beginning of his long friendship with the Marx Brothers Zeppo Marx; the next year, Benny formed a vaudeville musical duo with pianist Cora Folsom Salisbury, a buxom 45-year-old divorcée who needed a partner for her act. This angered famous violinist Jan Kubelik, who feared that the young vaudevillian with a similar name would damage his reputation.
Under legal pressure, Benjamin Kubelsky agreed to change his name to Ben K. Benny, sometimes spelled Bennie; when Salisbury left the act, Benny found a new pianist, Lyman Woods, renamed the act "From Grand Opera to Ragtime." They worked together for five years and integrated comedy elements into the show. They reached the "Mecca of Vaudeville," and did not do well. Benny left show business in 1917 to join the United States Navy during World War I, entertained the sailors with his violin playing. One evening, his violin performance was booed by the sailors, so with prompting from fellow sailor and actor Pat O'Brien, he ad-libbed his way out of the jam and left them laughing, he received more comedy spots in the revues and did well, earning a reputation as a comedian and musician. Shortly after the war, Benny developed a one-man act, "Ben K. Benny: Fiddle Funology", he received legal pressure from Ben Bernie, a "patter-and-fiddle" performer, regarding his name, so he adopted the sailor's nickname of Jack.
By 1921, the fiddle was more of a prop, the low-key comedy took over. Benny had some romantic encounters, including one with dancer Mary Kelly, whose devoutly Catholic family forced her to turn down his proposal because he was Jewish. Benny was introduced to Kelly by Gracie Allen; some years after their split, Kelly resurfaced as a dowdy fat girl and Jack gave her a part in an act of three girls: one homely, one fat, one who couldn't sing. In 1921, Benny accompanied Zeppo Marx to a Passover seder in Vancouver at the residence where he met 14-year-old Sadie Marks, their first meeting did not go well. They met again in 1926. Jack had not remembered their earlier meeting and fell for her, they married the following year. She was working in the hosiery section of the Hollywood Boulevard branch of the May Company, where Benny courted her. Called on to fill in for the "dumb girl" part in a Benny routine, Sadie proved to be a natural comedienne. Adopting the stage name Mary Livingstone, Sadie collaborated with Benny throughout most of his career.
They adopted a daughter, Joan. In 1929 Benny's agent, Sam Lyons, convinced Irving Thalberg, American film producer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, to watch Benny at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Benny signed a five-year contract with MGM, where his first role was in The Hollywood Revue of 1929; the next movie, Chasing Rainbows, did not do well, after several months Benny was released from his contract and returned to Broadway in Earl Carroll's Vanities. At first dubious about the viability of radio, Benny grew eager to break into the new medium. In 1932, after a four-week nightclub run, he was invited onto Ed Sullivan's radio program, uttering his first radio spiel "This is Jack Benny talking. There will be a slight pause while you say,'Who cares?'..." Benny had been a minor vaudeville performer before becoming a national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show that ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1949 to 1955 on CBS. It was among the most rated programs during its run. Benny's long radio career began on April 6, 1932, when the NBC Commercial Program Department auditioned him for the N. W. Ayer & Son agency and their client, Canada Dry, after which Bertha Brainard, head of the division, said, "We think Mr. Benny is excellent for radio and, while the audition was unassisted as far as orchestra was concerned, we believe he would make a great bet for an air program."
Recalling the experience in 1956, Benny said Ed Sullivan had invited him to guest o