On Saturday, May 6, 1939, Sam Wood directed Vivien Leigh in “Scarlett’s Return to Tara.” Realizing that her mother is dead, Scarlett screams her shock and grief and collapses at Ellen O’Hara’s bier.
A parallel to this heartbreaking scene occurred in Margaret Mitchell’s life. In 1919, when she was a student at Smith College in Massachusetts, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was killing millions. Like Ellen O’Hara who nursed typhoid victims and then contracted the disease, Margaret’s mother May Belle nursed influenza victims and then developed the illness, too. When pneumonia complicated Mrs. Mitchell’s condition, Margaret received a telegram from her father, insisting that she return home immediately.
Like Scarlett who arrived at Tara one day too late, Margaret arrived in Atlanta the day after her mother had died.
Happy 75th Anniversary, Gone With the Wind!
Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition), which will be published in spring 2014, and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook).