"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Elvis and the USS Arizona Memorial

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.

From History.com:
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.

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