|Above, Col. Tom Parker and Elvis Presley at the USS Arizona Memorial in 1965.|
Last month, we visited the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Did you know that the memorial had difficulties getting built due to government inter-agency turf battles and a lack of funding?
It wasn't until Ralph Edwards of This Is Your Life television show raised $95,000 for the memorial, that real public awareness of the proposed memorial began.
|Above, the USS Arizona Memorial and shuttle boat last month. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Three years later, the project to build a memorial still languished, until the "King of Rock 'n Roll" stepped up to aid the effort.
In March 1961, entertainer Elvis Presley, who had recently finished a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Block Arena that raised over $50,000—more than 10 percent of the USS Arizona Memorial’s final cost. The monument was officially dedicated on May 30, 1962, and attracts more than 1 million visitors each year.
|Above, a model of the USS Arizona Memorial at the visitor center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Elvis Presley visited the USS Arizona Memorial several times. His first visit was in 1965.
To see photographs of Presley's visits, go here.