In June 1961, Karen was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the middle part of her brain stem; X-ray treatment slowed its growth, but her health deteriorated to the point where she could no longer walk or talk. She died of pneumonia, related to her weakened health, on January 28, 1962, aged two.
On May 19, she took a break to sing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" on stage at President John F. Kennedy's early birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York. She drew attention with her costume: a beige, skintight dress covered in rhinestones, which made her appear nude. Monroe's trip to New York caused even more irritation for Fox executives, who had wanted her to cancel it.
On May 21, 1962, Armstrong was involved in the "Nellis Affair". He was sent in an F-104 to inspect Delamar Dry Lake in southern Nevada, again for emergency landings. He misjudged his altitude, and did not realize that the landing gear had not fully extended. As he touched down, the landing gear began to retract; Armstrong applied full power to abort the landing, but the ventral fin and landing gear door struck the ground, damaging the radio and releasing hydraulic fluid. Without radio communication, Armstrong flew south to Nellis Air Force Base, past the control tower, and waggled his wings, the signal for a no-radio approach. The loss of hydraulic fluid caused the tailhook to release, and upon landing, he caught the arresting wire attached to an anchor chain, and dragged the chain along the runway.
Armstrong visited the Seattle World's Fair in May 1962, and attended a conference there on space exploration that was co-sponsored by NASA. After he returned from Seattle on June 4, he applied to become an astronaut.
When Monroe was again on sick leave for several days, Fox decided that it could not afford to have another film running behind schedule when it was already struggling to cover the rising costs of Cleopatra (1963). On June 7, Fox fired Monroe and sued her for $750,000 in damages.Fox soon regretted its decision and re-opened negotiations with Monroe later in June.
During the final months of her life, Monroe lived at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her housekeeper Eunice Murray was staying overnight at the home on the evening of Saturday, August 4, 1962.Murray awoke at 3:00 a.m. on August 5 and sensed that something was wrong. Although she saw light from under Monroe's bedroom door, she was unable to get a response and found the door locked. Murray then called Monroe's psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, who arrived at the house shortly after and broke into the bedroom through a window, finding Monroe dead in her bed. Monroe's physician, Dr. Hyman Engelberg, arrived at the house at around 3:50 a.m.and pronounced her dead at the scene. At 4:25 a.m., they notified the Los Angeles Police Department. At last they later discovered that Monroe died between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on August 4,and the toxicology report revealed that the cause of death was acute barbiturate poisoning.
NASA's Director of Flight Crew Operations, Deke Slayton, called Armstrong on September 13, 1962, and asked whether he would be interested in joining the NASA Astronaut Corps as part of what the press dubbed "the New Nine"; without hesitation, Armstrong said yes.
The selections were kept secret until three days later, although newspaper reports had circulated since earlier that year that he would be selected as the "first civilian astronaut".Armstrong was one of two civilian pilots selected for this group; the other was Elliot See, another former naval aviator. NASA announced the selection of the second group at a press conference on September 17, 1962. Compared with the Mercury Seven astronauts, they were younger, and had more impressive academic credentials.
Local and national Republican leaders encouraged Nixon to challenge incumbent Pat Brown for Governor of California in the 1962 election.Despite initial reluctance, Nixon entered the race. The campaign was clouded by public suspicion that Nixon viewed the office as a stepping-stone for another presidential run, some opposition from the far-right of the party, and his own lack of interest in being California's governor. Nixon hoped that a successful run would confirm his status as the nation's leading active Republican politician, and ensure he remained a major player in national politics. Instead, he lost to Brown by more than five percentage points, and the defeat was widely believed to be the end of his political career.