Over at Remind magazine’s blog today is a feature about the USO, who brought Marilyn to Korea in 1954.
“As it became clear that the United States was heading into World War 2, a number of service organizations mobilized in support of the military … To maximize the support provided by these groups, President Roosevelt asked Congress to enact the nonprofit United Service Organizations (USO). Roosevelt said he wanted ‘these private organizations to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces.’
Although congressionally chartered, the USO is not a government agency and relies heavily on corporate and individual donors.
Average performers were paid $100 a week; stars were paid $10 a day, since their wealth allowed them to contribute their services.
In 1950, an the U.S entered the Korean War, the USO was re-activated and new performers signed up for duty, including Danny Kaye, Debbie Reynolds and Marilyn Monroe. The USO stayed active afterward, providing services to faraway soldiers in peacetime as well as in the later conflicts in Vietnam, Kosovo, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.”