What does a rock ‘n’ roll legend have to do with a historical Pearl Harbor memorial?
Legendary rock star Elvis Presley helped make the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor a reality in the 1960s.
Presley performed at a benefit concert that raised more than $54,000 for the memorial fund on March 25, 1961.
Plans to create the USS Arizona Memorial took shape in the 1950s, but by 1960, less than half of the $500,000 needed was raised.
Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker, thought a benefit concert would provide positive publicity for the singer, who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1960.
Shortly after the concert, Hawaii’s House of Representatives passed Resolution 105 to thank Presley and Parker for their services.
Presley’s actions drew attention to the memorial fund, when more money from the public and private sector arrived, allowing the USS Arizona Memorial to be dedicated on May 30, 1962.
The famed rock ‘n’ roll musician visited the memorial for the first time in 1965 and placed a wreath at the monument.
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