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Monroe’s sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” and famously sexy dress stunned the audience and made the 1962 bash an unforgettable evening.

A ticket to President Kennedy’s 1962 Birthday bash, featuring Marilyn’s Monroe’s sultry version of “Happy Birthday,” sold for $94,500.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

There are moments in American pop-culture history that are transcendent. Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy at his 15,000-person birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden May 19, 1962, is one of those moments.

Monroe’s breathless and memorable rendition is a part of our cultural history and mainstream American cultural zeitgeist. Which helps explain why an original ticket to the event (above) sold for $94,500 at Sotheby’s January 27. The ticket originally cost $10 for the event.

Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962.

Bettmann/Getty Images

The song, made potentially more dramatic and sexualized given the rumored affair between Monroe and Kennedy, was one of the last major public appearances for Monroe before her death less than three months later. She was 36.

After hearing Monroe’s sultry rendition, Kennedy quipped, “I can now retire from politics after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.” The event honoring Kennedy’s 45th birthday, raised about $1 million for the Democratic Party.

The historic “Happy Birthday” dress worn by Marilyn Monroe sold for $4.8 million at auction in 2016.

Liliane Lathan/Getty Images

Just as famous as her sensuous take on the song is the tight, slinky dress Monroe wore that evening. Simply put, it caused a sensation. The sheer and crystal-emblazoned dress from the event sold at Julien’s Auctions in 2016 for $4.8 million, a record-breaking amount for any dress. Kim Kardashian created shock waves when she wore Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress to the 2022 Met Gala. 

American socialite Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s dazzling dress at the 2022 Met Gala.

Getty Images

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