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
Dec 1, 2022
War in Ukraine: How the USO is Expanding Its Reach and Delivering Critical Resources to Service Members
In the months since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the stability of Europe and our NATO allies have been threatened, and thousands of American troops have been deployed to the region as a result. Here is how the USO has supported the U.S. military in Eastern Europe, and how we plan to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.