A War Stories Salute to the USO
Come along for an insider's tour of the historic USO
- Duration 9:17
- Date Oct 17, 2011
Come along for an insider's tour of the historic USO
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Good evening I'm Oliver North welcome to war stories and our holiday salute to the US -- We're here at a busy US air force base and allied country on the Persian gulf.
A few hours Wayne Newton -- -- Chris -- in the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Are going to be on this day.
Performing for hundreds of young American -- wheel of a brief respite from the war on terror.
Ever since the US always found 1941.
American entertainers have been giving up their holidays to bring a touch a home.
For those who served far from home.
The US so operate regardless of war or hate it does a whole lot more than just entertain those who serve in our armed force.
-- along with for the special episode -- war stories as we salute the USO.
I'm most happy to be here and see all these boys.
Told me to always look for -- -- trouble.
Just the best or if you ever.
Instead of patriots home they brought peaceful and I remember -- He threw it.
She had those guys leaving Paper trail.
1940 Europe was falling under the wheels of the Nazi war machine.
France was -- -- spring and the summer found England with a knife -- her throat.
As the RAF desperately fought the Nazis during the battle of Britain.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the selective service and training act.
Military -- popped up all over the country John Hanson is a Vietnam veterans and senior vice president of the united service organizations.
The US so suddenly small town.
War flooded -- -- new recruits.
Yeah at age nineteen George Hayward was a long way from Fordham road in the Bronx from the Bronx to Honolulu was a big change.
We had never been out of -- local areas for the most.
Most of the people who -- just wrong with the seems.
Weird 1718 year -- -- to high school.
Men flooded into military bases during the first peacetime draft in American history.
There was usually not a lot to do themselves.
Franklin Roosevelt decided there needed to be some civilian organisms.
To take care of the morale welfare and recreation of its troops.
To keep their spirits up.
He gets together a group of organizations.
Tell us about who they were.
These six organizations that came together -- travelers aid society national Catholic Charities.
The national Jewish welfare board the YMCA the YWCA.
And the Salvation Army.
But Washington politics Begin to interfere until FDR put its foot down.
-- discussion broke out about whether should be -- about a government.
-- -- -- and its private organization should be connected to the American people and that's what persons.
If this audience sees steak that come on up thereafter I don't know they've seen ham all evening and you're still there.
In May of 1941.
He was told -- news radio show it march field and -- in California.
-- -- the world -- -- go there what's the point.
That's spring of 1941.
The newly christened US -- made one of its biggest and longest lasting connections.
With a 37 year old actor and comedian named Bob Hope.
What really enthusiastic about it until He got out there and found out that there was an outward for over 40000.
And they were the best audience -- have received -- -- killed.
-- November 28 1941.
The first government built USO club opened in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Or nine days after opened its stores the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
The beginning of World War II causes the US -- to -- reorient its its whole mission the -- so reflected the mobilization mentality.
Troops -- showed up.
-- rail junction.
People used -- their ration coupons and you know grocery stores and -- and we.
And soft drink your milk to their soldiers before the presence.
Everybody had a part play.
And everybody played a part.
The USO facility in Chicago as a place where you could -- about his short -- today.
And go off to do something together those -- and -- For seventeen year old -- lane from Windsor Virginia the windy city's USO facility.
One of what would eventually number 3000 worldwide.
It was definitely a home away from home.
You could go in the town with five bucks your pocket and go back Monday morning and -- -- three dollars left.
Men from all walks of life were drafted or enlisted during those early days of the war.
One of them was a former child actor Mickey room.
-- it was still a huge star being the number one box office actor from 1939.
And true to the times He was anxious to join the fight.
In Hollywood Mickey and his wife Jan recalled those times did you get permission from the studio to join them -- No they -- tried to keep me out of the army.
And gave me something that might give -- high blood pressure they're nice -- you stick that thing to me and I'm gonna punch through Redmond knows.
And they didn't do -- and was accepted.
But Mickey Rooney wasn't the -- Hollywood star to get behind the war effort with the USO leadership at the time worked -- entertainment people Hollywood.
And created a system to deliver entertainment to troops in the United States and overseas everybody pitched in from Hollywood's biggest stars like Bing -- James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart.
The little known vaudeville -- stands and comedians the -- traveled the world.
And -- different sorts the size of the tour were broken down for broad categories.
From -- -- victory tour which were large Broadway shows down to the blue tour in the foxhole tour.
And each one of them was designated -- sounds there were bases everywhere unites states.
And -- -- mission was to get wouldn't.
During its first six months 44 of these units put on 3791.
Shows to more than two million men and women.
The entertainment arrived in a variety of ways.
What's due to the Jeep tours are the ones are the most exciting the most seats and stores jumped into energy entertained -- -- -- Virginia go to a hospital from playing the front line installation.
Game -- I do my imitation.
I talk about home it was a wonderful time.
At that and if you can imagine during the war.
Being in key -- and bring back and it's still all about did you -- writer was that we all know we bring.
-- -- -- -- -- It's important that we make this victory on the smashing climax of -- bond guy.
Back at home Hollywood stars royals who used they'll pay for the war the sales of new cars billions of gasoline rationing.
Along with -- -- and sugar the public was urged to spend any extra -- -- And war bonds.
Buying a war bond was actually a citizens way of loading the government money as the cost of the war wasn't in the annual budget.
And a sales pitch came from some of Hollywood's biggest names written.
The war bond drives -- wildly successful.
By the end of the war over 85 million Americans and loan the government over -- 185.
October 3 1942.
A year after Hollywood hooked up with the US so it was opening night at the Hollywood -- Founded by actor Jon Garfield and Betty Davis and opened in the former livery stable of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
The place was so crowded the only way Betty Davis could -- him was -- crawling through a window do you remember the Hollywood can.
Oh that's where we'll start there was so many wonderful people my friend -- and that would save us from doing anything would entertain.
-- 3000 miles away in New York City had its own version.
That stage door canteen.
The stage door canteen New -- to.
I think the thing that I guess everything they're really heard there's -- there has some beautiful women whose vision which could take -- moment.
-- singer Wayne Newton performing and Southwest Asia before and obviously appreciative crowd.
The man who -- cheered on by troops all over the world for generations.
The legendary Bob Hope puts on his first US ocean.