Happy birthday to Perle Mesta (12 October 1889–16 March 1975), the original “hostess with the mostest,” who served as a model for Ethel Merman’s character in Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam.

Happy birthday to Perle Mesta (12 October 1889–16 March 1975), the original “hostess with the mostest,” who served as a model for Ethel Merman’s character in Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam.