NEW ORLEANS (July 21, 2016)—In honor of Bob Hope’s unwavering support for the troops, the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation has committed a $3 million gift to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The generous donation will support integrating Bob Hope’s wartime legacy comprehensively throughout the Museum’s campus. Hope’s story, which is a significant component of World War II, represents the value of laughter and humanity in even the darkest times.
“In 2004, the Museum received a congressional designation to tell the complete story of the American experience in World War II, and Bob Hope’s legacy of entertaining troops is essential to revealing this era’s history,” said the Museum’s president and CEO Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD. “Hope was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century, and the only one who achieved success in every genre of mass entertainment, including Broadway, movies, radio, television and live concerts.”
The Museum and Foundation are collaborating to create unique content that will integrate Hope’s story into multiple aspects of the Museum experience, so that each year thousands of visitors can interact with his historical narrative through touch points at the institution. On-site Museum programs will focus on in-depth public education, including a Bob Hope “Dog Tag Experience,” a documentary about his life’s achievements, a special exhibit complete with iconic artifacts and a film series honoring his legacy.
“I know my Dad would be extremely proud of this association with The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, one of his favorite cities,” said Linda Hope, daughter of the entertainer. “The men and women who served during that war had a special place in his heart. Their spirit and love of our country never ceased to inspire him. We all hope that the visitors to The National WWII Museum enjoy learning more about his service to the armed forces and hopefully it will trigger some special memories.”
Additionally, the Museum will honor Bob Hope’s legacy of entertaining troops by offering military, families of military and veterans a select number of free tickets to shows at BB’s Stage Door Canteen. The new program, which is called Tickets for Troops, launches this summer along with an annual youth theater camp designed to teach students about Hope’s role in World War II, as well as aspects of dance, song, costume and set design. The camp will conclude with a variety show performed by the students each July.
The Museum is also intent on serving students and visitors nationwide—for those unable to visit the New Orleans campus, the institution’s digitization efforts will preserve select Bob Hope items, making photographs, artifacts and other archival materials widely accessible online through the Museum’s Digital Collections at ww2online.org. With the support of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, these resources will be properly catalogued, digitized and made available for online use by future generations.
“The Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation’s support will have a tremendous impact on our institution,” Mueller continued. “This gift makes it possible to continue to pass on this incredible story—of Bob Hope’s ability to bring laughter in one of the darkest periods in history—to new audiences around the world. The gift is extraordinarily thoughtful and generous, and I’m excited to see the partnership between our two organizations unfold over the coming years.”
The Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation name will be recognized on a donor panel at the entrance to the special exhibit as well as on the Museum’s collateral educational materials and website, ensuring that audiences across our nation understand Bob Hope was one of the greatest supporters of American troops in years past, as his legacy continues to inspire them today.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that future generations will know the price of freedom, and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.
Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation supports organizations that bring “HOPE” to those in need and those who served to protect our nation. The Foundation also supports charitable organizations that preserve and honor the legacy of Bob Hope as an American entertainer, humanitarian, patriot, sportsman and supporter of military personnel and their families.