On this day 78 years ago, the USO was founded! It was founded in 1941 as a response to a request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. troops. It sought to be the GI’s “home away from home”. From 1941-1947, the USO presented more than 400,000 performances. It became especially known for its “camp shows”, live performances from celebrities and entertainers. Bob Hope’s career with the USO lasted half a century, during which time he headlined 57 times and spent 48 Christmases overseas with the troops. He was such an important part of the USO that in 1997, he was honored by Congress as “the first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces”. In 2001, Wayne Newton succeeded Bob Hope as chairman of the USO Celebrity Circle.
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