Happy President’s Day! In honor of our nation’s Commanders in Chief, we’ve created a fun quiz for you this holiday. Using the clues below, figure out which President did what for the USO. Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you get all eight right, you’ll be entered in a drawing for some fabulous USO gifts! (And don’t think you can just Google all the answers – we’re smarter than that!)
President Harry S Truman with a "USO Couple" in an undated picture.
1. This President signed the USO Congressional Charter into law (Title 36, U.S. Code, Chapter 45), signaling the beginning of the USO as a completely independent agency.
2. This President hosted the first Operation USO Care Package stuffing party on the White House lawn, which resulted in 3,000 care packages assembled – some by the President himself! – for Troops serving overseas.
3. This President was awarded the first Presidential Spirit of Hope Award at a USO Gala. Coincidentally, his father was one of the key people behind the creation of the organization in 1941.
4. This President – along with the First Lady – traveled to Fort Belvoir to participate in an Operation USO Care Package stuffing party, staying over an hour assembling care packages and talking to USO staff and volunteers. It was his first official visit to the base.
5. This President called for a private entity to meet the recreational needs of Troops during World War II. The Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board then coordinated their civilian efforts to form the United Service Organizations, or USO.
6. This President was the first to have a Navy ship named after him. That aircraft carrier has since been host to numerous USO celebrity entertainment shows.
7. This President reestablished the USO as a peacetime organization, writing in a letter, “I am particularly happy to see Veterans Hospital Camp Shows included in the program of the USO. They serve the double purpose of entertaining the men and giving them the much-needed assurance that they are remembered.”
8. This President bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest honor awarded a civilian in the US – to Bob Hope, in recognition of his years of service to the USO and nation’s Troops.