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12-09-16, 11:00 AM #1
How Elvis Helped Save the USS Arizona Memorial
In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed Public Law 85-344 that allowed the PWMC to raise money on the Navy’s behalf for the construction of a memorial to the Arizona. However, the project quickly stalled as donations dried up. By the start of 1960, only $155,000 had been raised. The drive was in desperate need of a swift and hard kick.
“Colonel” Tom Parker read about the struggling campaign in a newspaper and spotted an opportunity. As Elvis Presley’s manager, he was eager to get a bit of positive publicity for his client who had been out of circulation for a couple years after being drafted into the U.S. Army. Parker surmised that a benefit concert for the USS Arizona Memorial would raise much-needed awareness of the fundraising campaign while also demonstrating that Elvis still had drawing power. Elvis was not only pleased to be able to perform for an audience, he was a patriot who genuinely believed in the cause and wanted to help.
Below is a link to the full story and an audio recording of his full concert.
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