At the Julien's Auction on Thursday in Los Angeles, Marilyn Monroe's iconic "Happy birthday, Mr. President" gown has sold for a stunning $4.8 million.
Monroe wore the rhinestone-encrusted dress as she famously sang "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy in front of a crowd of 15,000.
The gown went to Ripley's Believe It or Not after putting in the highest bid. The company plans to showcase the gown at the Odditorium museum in Hollywood as the centerpiece of the Marilyn Monroe collection.
The dress is the most expensive personal item of clothing ever sold. The custom-made design is a floor-length, skintight, flesh-colored dress that has more than 2,500 hand-stitched crystals. The "Happy Birthday" dress broke its own record of $1.27 million at auction that was held back in 1999.
Marilyn Monroe wore the designer Jean Louis creation on May 19, 1962 for the 45th birthday celebration for Kennedy at New York's Madison Square Garden, according to Us Weekly.
After seeing Monroe's performance, Kennedy said to the crowd: "I can now retire from politics after having had 'Happy Birthday' sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way."
"We believe this is the most iconic piece of pop culture there is," the vice president of Ripley's Believe It or Not, Edward Meyer said after the dress was purchased. "In the 20th century I cannot think of one single item that tells the story of the 1960s as well as this dress. It's a new world record for a dress."
Meyer also said, "It has the significance of Marilyn, of Hollywood, of JFK, of American politics. Any museum in the world would love to have it on display, and now it belongs to Ripley's Believe It or Not!"
The president and CEO of Julien's Auctions, Darren Julien, issued a statement about the massive sales price of the dress. Julien said: "Tonight was one of the most important moments in our history as a company. We were incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to offer this amazing dress from the most legendary screen star of all time."
"This dress, this story, this momentous occasion represents a defining moment in history," the executive director of Julien's Auctions, Martin Nolan, said. "This dress will remind the world why Marilyn Monroe remains an icon."
Check out the video of Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy below:0comments
How much would you have been willing to pay for Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President" dress?