February 4, 1941- the United Service Organizations is established. By D-Day, the USO will be putting on 700 shows a day for US troops overseas.
United Service Organizations
The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) is an American nonprofit-charitable corporation that provides live entertainment, such as comedians, actors and musicians, social facilities, and other programs to members of the United States Armed Forces and their families.
Mission and goals
Founded during World War II, the USO sought to be the GI‘s “home away from home” and began a tradition of entertaining the troops and providing social facilities.
Involvement in the USO was one of the many ways in which the nation had come together to support the war effort, with nearly 1.5 million people having volunteered their services in some way.
The organization became particularly known for its live performances, called camp shows, through which the entertainment industry helps boost the morale of servicemen and women. From the start, Hollywood was eager to show its patriotism, and many celebrities joined the ranks of USO entertainers.
Korean War, Vietnam War and now
The USO initially disbanded in 1947, but was revived in 1950 for the Korean War, after which it continued, also providing peacetime services. During the Vietnam War, USO social facilities (“USOs”) were sometimes located in combat zones.
The USO has over 200 locations around the world in 14 countries (including the U.S.) and 27 states.