The attack on Pearl Harbor was - in many ways - the impetus for the formation of the United Service Organizations, or USO. Chartered by Congress in response to a request from President Roosevelt to provide for the morale and welfare of the Troops, the USO brought together six other charities in 1941 for that single purpose. The Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), National Catholic Community Service, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board joined forces in 1941 under the leadership of Thomas Dewey and raised $16 million that first year.
In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans rallied their support behind our men and women in uniform as they never had before. The USO took up that cause and continues to this day to provide for the morale and welfare of Troops serving here and abroad, in wartime and peace, active duty and reserve, until every one comes home.
We take this day to honor the sacrifice of those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor. In the spirit of all those who served, we’d also like to share with you some rarely seen photographs from USO’s in the 1940s. We hope you take a moment to reflect upon these images and honor all those who have served.[gallery columns=“2”]
Some other great websites that include history and photographs from that time:
- Naval History & Heritage Command
- DefenseImagery (modern pictures)
- World War II - Valor in the Pacific (National Parks Service site)
And don’t miss a special blog posting from On the Frontlines, the blog of ON★PATROL Magazine, later this afternoon.
More from the USO
May 15, 2017
USO Operation Birthday Cake Brings the Party to Service Members in Japan
When Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Lee received an urgent call to head to his work station one morning, he thought there was something seriously wrong, but there was no emergency. Instead, he walked into his own surprise birthday celebration, courtesy of his wife, USO Yokosuka and the Operation Birthday Cake Program.
May 13, 2017
'I'll Never Forget It": Why a USO Fourth of July T-shirt Can Mean So Much
Years ago, I wore my USO T-shirt to a Houston Astros game. Someone stopped me and said, “Thank you, sir.” I turned to see a man holding his young son by the hand. He said he was active duty, leaving soon for Afghanistan.
May 10, 2017
#Flex4Forces and Show Your Strength on Social Media
The USO invites you to get involved in our exciting new digital campaign, #Flex4Forces! The campaign calls on Americans to show their strength as a Force Behind the Forces by striking a biceps flex in support of our nation’s military and sharing it on social media.