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New Queen Mary exhibit shows why America, and 11 U.S. presidents, loved Bob Hope

The Queen Mary is proud to host a traveling exhibit on America’s “most honored” entertainer Bob Hope – friend of U.S. troops, presidents and generations of fans. The four-month exhibit opens Aug. 9 on the ship where Hope performed his first wartime routine on the very day World War II began.
The traveling, 2,200-square-foot exhibit, “Bob Hope: An American Treasure,” was created in partnership with the World Golf Hall of Fame Museum with support from the Bob and Delores Hope Foundation.
It tells Hope’s story through 15 themed displays that celebrate his comedic contributions; his achievements in entertainment; his relationships with 11 U.S. Presidents; and his enduring passion – golf. It traces his family’s arrival at Ellis Island; their lives as immigrants in Cleveland; Hope’s effort to strike it big in New York; his success and family life in Hollywood; and how his love for the military and golf took him around the world.
It was 75 years ago this September, in 1939, that Hope performed his first wartime routine – on the Queen Mary. Hope and his wife Dolores were returning from Europe when war was declared. German U-boats were on the prowl, so the Queen Mary’s captain ordered all portholes painted, windows covered and running lights shut off. Then he asked Hope to calm the nerves of frightened passengers.
Hope obliged, performing his first wartime show in the First Class Lounge, joking that it was hard to dance in a life preserver and singing “Thanks for the Memory,” with the line: “Some folks slept on the floor, some in the corridor, but I was more exclusive, my room had GENTLEMEN above the door.”
In all, Hope starred in more than 50 films and headlined 57 USO tours for American servicemen, carrying his signature golf club and singing his signature song, ‘Thanks for the Memory.”
The traveling Bob Hope exhibit includes reproductions of more than 200 vintage photos, seven videos and more than 170 items. These include an original vaudeville contract from 1922; his Ellis Island medal; the final set of golf clubs used in his life; Emmy and Honorary Oscar awards; an outfit he wore during USO tours; gifts and awards from Presidents and other celebrities; his Congressional Gold Medal awarded by President John F. Kennedy; and his “Honorary Veteran Citation” from Congress, which he called the most important honor of his life.
It’s enough to make you say: ‘Thanks for the memory.”
The exhibit runs Aug. 9 through Jan. 2015 in the Timeline area of the ‘Queen Mary Story’ tour. Exhibit entrance is included in these tour packages: Queen Mary Passport, Historic First-Class Passport, Haunted First-Class Passport and Royal Passport. Parking is $15. Hours are 10 AM. to 6:30 PM. For more information, visit:
About the Queen Mary
Located in the Port of Long Beach, the Queen Mary features a rich maritime history, authentic Art Deco décor, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Long Beach city skyline. At the time of her maiden voyage in May of 1936, she was considered the grandest ocean liner ever built. The Queen Mary features award-winning restaurants, historical attractions, numerous special event salons and 346 staterooms.

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

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