June 3, 1906 Josephine Baker, entertainer and actress, was born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri. Baker moved to New York City at 15 and appeared in the chorus of “Shuffle Along” (1921). By the time she appeared in “The Chocolate Dandies” (1924), she was the highest paid chorus girl in vaudeville. She debuted in Paris, France in 1925 and after a while was the most successful American entertainer working in France. Despite her popularity in France, Baker never achieved the same level of success in the United States. She returned to Paris in 1937 and became a French citizen. During World War II, Baker volunteered to spy for France and provided significant assistance to the French Resistance. In recognition of her efforts, she was the first American born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de Guerre. Although based in France, Baker was supportive of the Civil Rights Movement. When in the U.S., she refused to perform for segregated audiences and spoke at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Baker died April 12, 1975. Biographies of Baker include “Jazz Cleopatra: Josephine Baker in Her Time” (1989) and “Josephine: The Hungry Heart” (2001). HBO broadcasted her life story in the 1991 film “The Josephine Baker Story.” The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor in 2008.