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Walter Winchell had a weekly radio program from 1932 until the early 1950s, during which time he was a prolific phrasemaker, noted for his Broadway idioms.
In the United States during the Second World War there were numerous individual service organizations, charities, and clubs that offered recreation and morale boosting activities to the men and women of the U. The United Service Organizations for National Defense was brought into existence through Presidential order February 4, 1941.
The USO was incorporated in New York state as a private, nonprofit organization, supported by private citizens and corporations. Roosevelt wanted the morale of military personnel to remain high and believed that current service organizations would be better suited for the job than the Department of Defense.
The Department of Defense felt that they should control every aspect of the soldier's life, however the chairmen of The Salvation Army, Jewish Welfare Board (JWB), National Catholic Community Service (NCCS), Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and National TravelerÙs Aid Association felt that their organizations were better suited for the responsibility. The six civilian service organizations would be in charge, and the military would provide building supplies, locations, and labor when needed and available.
In segregated communities, USO clubs were also segregated and in non-segregated communities they were integrated.“Home Away from Home” for many military personnel and workers in wartime industry.
All races were welcome at the USO clubs and functions.
These boards/committees were to be composed of a variety of people (when possible) including: a USO representative from the local War Fund Committee, Local USO treasurer, Representative of the local Community Chest, Mayor (or his representative), the Army and Navy (if locally represented), and finally representatives of the three faiths (Protestant, Catholic and Jewish).
Each club was financed both at a local and national level through Community War Chests, The National War Fund, and individual donations.
The USO became so synonymous with aid and recreation to soldiers that over time “uso”, a very specific brand, has become a generic term to describe any Serviceman's or Servicewoman's club, canteen, or organization, regardless of actual USO affiliation (much like Kleenex or Xerox and their respective products.) Here, we are concerned strictly with the brand name USO and not the many other organizations that emulated or followed suit offering similar services.
During the Second World War the USO was a large organization that sought to provide a vast array of much needed services to military and support personnel throughout the globe.