Includes signatures and inscriptions by numerous military figures, namely World War II hero George S. Patton Jr. as well as many prominent friends and acquaintances: Irving Berlin, Irwin Shaw, Col. Paul D. Harkins, Ed Whitcomb, Oscar Solbert, Ruth Hughes Aarons, W.H.; Simpson, Robert T. Frederick, Dudley Clark, Leon G. Turrou, Milton Frome, Danny Thomas, and “Lord Jim” Ferguson.
This “short snorter” was collected by the sensational actress and cabaret performer, Marlene Dietrich, who rose to fame during the '30s. Highlighting the iconic actress's dedication to the Allied efforts during World War II, this short snorter details Dietrich's time spent traveling with the American troops, predominantly in Western Europe and North Africa.
Dietrich devoted herself to these efforts through anti-Nazi propaganda, recording demoralizing songs for the Office of Strategic Services—most popular was her rendition of the German love song “Lili Marlene.” She also performed for troops, singing and playing the musical saw, a nod to her performances on stage in Berlin. Dietrich, who went on an extended USO tour in 1944 and 1945 that brought her to the front lines, was also said to have sold more war bonds during her tours than any other starlet. These contributions culminated in several post-war honors, including the United States Medal of Freedom and Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by France.
The tradition of the “short snorter” emerged with the expansion of aviation, gaining popularity among officers during World War II. The name is derived from the slang expression “short snort," meaning “less than a full shot of liquor,” a popular phrase among pilots who realized that heavy drinking was not ideal for flying. The custom of collecting signed bills as mementos of places visited and people met became so popular a tradition that if a passenger failed to present their short snorter it was customary for them to buy the next round of drinks. An alternative tradition said that the passenger with the shortest (therefore least impressive) short snorter would be obligated to buy the drinks.
This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive short snorter to come to market. Marlene Dietrich’s involvement during World War II coupled with her prominence in film and theater cannot be understated, and her travels and encounters by way of both are memorialized here.
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