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
Jul 20, 2016
'We’re Here for the Soldiers’: How One Volunteer Couple Answered the Call to Serve at USO Fort Hood
Anne Cosper always wanted to volunteer at the USO. So when her daughter, who currently serves in the U.S. Army, was reassigned to Fort Hood – only an hour drive from her Georgetown, Texas, home – she decided it was the perfect opportunity to get involved at the USO center on base.
Jul 20, 2016
How USO SeaTac’s ‘Banana’ Bob Got His Nickname
Bob Harris first began volunteering at the USO Northwest Seattle-Tacoma International Airport center in 2013. Shortly after he started, he was asked if he’d be interested in picking up donated bananas and bringing them to the airport center once a week. It wasn’t long after his first delivery that Bob realized the donations runs had earned him a new nickname.