SYMHC Live: The USO and Bob Hope


Bob Hope holds a golf club as he stands on stage and smiles with Les Brown's band, during a 1967 USO show. Photo by Newsmakers/Getty Images

This show was performed live at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. It covers a brief overview of USO history, and then delves into Bob Hope's involvement with the organization, which started in the early 1940s and continued for 50 years.

Our deepest gratitude goes out to the museum for inviting us and for giving us the most wonderful experience. We loved our time in New Orleans.

If you'd like to check out the museum's podcast, Service on Celluloid, which examines how WWII has been represented in film, you can find it on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Holly's Research:

  • Beamish, Richard Joseph and Francis Andrew March. “America’s Part in the World War.” John C. Winston Company. 1919.
  • Blakemore, Erin. “The Surprising Fear That Created the USO.” Time. Feb 5. 2016. http://time.com/4205222/uso-75-years/
  • USO. https://www.uso.org
  • “Bob Hope and American Variety.” Library of Congress Online. https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/bobhope/pubserv.html
  • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “United Service Organizations, Inc.” Encyclopædia Britannica. April 10, 2017.
  • Hunneman, John. “It All Began at March Field.” San Diego Journal Tribune. July 29, 2003. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-it-all-began-at-march-field-2003jul29-story.html
  • Armbrister, Trevor. “Heroes of Vietnam: Bob Hope—The GI’s Best Friend.” The Saturday Evening Post. Jan. 22, 2018 (Originally published March 12, 1966.) https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2018/01/heroes-vietnam-bob-hope-gis-best-friend/
  • Mealey, Mike. “Bob Hope Brings Christmas Cheer to Troops in Vietnam.” Stars and Stripes. Dec. 26, 1964. https://www.stripes.com/news/bob-hope-brings-christmas-cheer-to-troops-in-vietnam-1.18609
  • Military Sealift Command Public Affairs. “USNS Bob Hope carries on despite loss of namesake.” July 28, 2003. https://www.msc.navy.mil/publications/pressrel/press03/press35.htm
  • “Bob Hope: 50 Years of Hope.” National Museum of the Air Force. May 12, 2015. https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196841/bob-hope-50-years-of-hope/
  • Maskel, Rebecca. “Thanks for the Memories.” Air & Space Magazine. January 2010. https://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/thanks-for-the-memories-8926627/
  • Oldenburg, Ann. “Bob Hope USO Shows: The One-Man Morale Machine.” USO. Feb. 4, 2016. https://www.uso.org/stories/154-bob-hope-the-uso-s-one-man-morale-machine
  • Scheinfeld, John. “This is Bob Hope.” American Masters. 2017.
  • “USO History.” USO of Illinois. http://usoofillinois.org/uso-history/
  • Leder, Jane Merskey. “Thanks for the Memories: Love, Sex, and World Ward II.” Greenwood Publishing. 2006.
  • Brandner, Eric. “A Different Way of Serving.” USO. Oct. 12, 2015. https://www.uso.org/stories/34-a-different-way-of-serving
  • Peluis, Chrisian. “The USO: An Icon Born of Necessity.” Feb. 4, 2016. https://www.uso.org/stories/148-the-uso-an-icon-born-of-necessity
  • Zoglin, Richard. “Hope.” Simon & Schuster. 2014.
  • Hope, Bob. “Have Tux, Will Travel.” Curtis Publishing 1954.
  • Faith, William Robert. “Hope: A Life in Comedy.” Da Capo Press. 2003.

Topics in this Podcast: 20th century, military history, entertainment history, U.S. history, warfare, World War II, live shows