Reagan and Marilyn: Did Ronald Reagan help launch Marilyn Monroe’s career? Yes, claims Norma Jean Enterprises in Toronto. A spokesman for the company said Reagan was a captain in the Army’s motion picture unit in World War II when he ordered David Conover to take morale-boosting photos of women. Conover found the young Monroe (then known as Norma Jean Dougherty) working at a defense plant in El Segundo and made the photographs that first caught Hollywood’s eye.
War and Remembrance: When Gen. Colin L. Powell agreed to be honorary grand marshal for the King Week parade Jan. 21, he didn’t know he would raise a ruckus in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s hometown. Civil rights leader the Rev. Joseph Lowery said in Atlanta that Powell’s role would conflict with King’s teachings of nonviolence. King declared the U.S. government to be “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” and vehemently opposed the Vietnam War, in which Powell served two tours of duty. Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, often quotes the slain civil rights leader in his speeches.
Prison Growth: Evangelist Jim Bakker is doing fine behind bars. Basil Jackson, who treated Bakker after his mental collapse during his trial, says he recently visited Bakker at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., where Bakker is serving a 45-year sentence for defrauding his followers. “His faith is stronger now than it ever was,” Jackson said. But his comment did not apply to the courts: “Naturally, he has questions about the system of justice.”
Remarriage: Jane Smith, widow of Challenger pilot Michael Smith, married Dixon Wolcott over the Thanksgiving weekend in Houston. June Scobee Rodgers, Lorna Onizuka and Cheryl McNair, whose husbands also were killed aboard the flight, attended the ceremony.