Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

May 3, 1958

Guest post by Kelly Monfredini, undergraduate student at Manhattan College.

On May 3, 1958, New York Amsterdam News ran a report of a former “Pinup Model,” Florence Swift, and the son of a well-known newspaper interviewer and actor, Leigh Whipper Jr. In an article titled “Invitations in Mail, Wedding Cancelled” the two New York socialites were being highlighted due to the end of not only their relationship, but of their engagement as well. The article touches on possible juicier details, such as the possibility of Whipper’s trust fund disappearing if the engagement continued, aided in the scandalous theme of the story. However, the true, underlying emphasis is on the fact that a rich actor’s son was almost married to a pinup girl.

The article also provides more intrusive details of the break-up, such as how both parties would like to just move on and how Whipper claims he never actually proposed to Swift, although she had sent wedding invitations anyway.

This story is quite similar to ones that can be found in gossip magazines today. Many people, especially within the United States, thoroughly enjoy following celebrities’ lives, including relationships and break-ups. 


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