08:57 PM EDT 10/16/2013
Originally posted 04/19/2013 06:30PM
When a friend told UCLA freshman Rachel Isum she had to meet a popular jock named Jackie Robinson, she said, "I'm not interested," she recalls. "I thought he'd be arrogant." But she decided to test the waters anyway. "When I met Jack, he was so humble, so thoughtful – and handsome," she says. "I thought, 'I'm glad I was wrong!' "
The couple began a five-year courtship, finally wedding on Feb. 10, 1946. "We always said we'd get married once Jack got a job," says Rachel. "And then one day Branch Rickey called Jack."
The then-president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey was committed to breaking the race barrier in Major League Baseball – and he was convinced Robinson was the perfect man to do it: talented enough to win the respect of fans and players; strong enough to withstand the inevitable firestorm that would ensue.
Originally posted 04/10/2013 01:20PM
Ryan Merriman worked hard on New Year's Eve to make his proposal special. First he tried a tiki bar, but that wasn't quite right. And then he tried out a New Zealand nightclub where it was far too loud.
Finally he headed to Auckland's SkyCity and the harbor, where high above the water in an outdoor tower, as the New Year's fireworks display was launched into the night skies, he finally summoned the nerve to ask for Kristen McMullen's hand in marriage.
"I did it on the fly of the moment. Thank God it worked," he told PEOPLE Tuesday at the premiere of his new film, the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 where he plays Brooklyn Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker, in Hollywood. "She said 'Yes.' "
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