Here’s a good way to spend some of the Memorial Day holiday.
What’s Since 2011, fans and museum-goers across the United States have had an opportunity to experience the traveling exhibition, “Bob Hope: An American Treasure.” Beginning May 26, the popular exhibition will make its way back to the place where Hope’s journey to success began – the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
Hope immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island in 1908, traveling aboard the S.S. Philadelphia with his mother and five brothers. His life story exemplifies the experience of more than 12 million people who came to the United States through Ellis Island in pursuit of the American dream. The third floor of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum was renamed to the Bob Hope Memorial Library in 2010, a dedication to Hope and his lifetime achievements.
With the support of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, the Hall of Fame spun its “Shanks for the Memory” exhibit into this traveling exhibition. While the World Golf Hall of Fame Member passed away nearly 15 years ago, his legacy has remained alive through this exhibition, which includes rare artifacts, personal memorabilia, video, pictures and a bevy of memories from his contributions to the game of golf and his country.
“We’re thrilled to share Bob Hope’s legacy with the people visiting Ellis Island,” said Jack Peter, president of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “We believe this exhibition will inspire those who see it to achieve their own American dream just as Hope did in his 100 years of life.”
Having toured around the world in museums such as The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, The Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, and the Greenwich Heritage Centre Artillery Square in London during the Summer 2012 Olympics, the exhibition was most recently featured at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City, Utah.
“We welcome Bob Hope back to Ellis Island in spirit,” said John Piltzecker, superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. “All the millions of immigrants passing through Ellis had hopes of freedom, opportunity and success. Mr. Hope certainly achieved those things beyond measure, and this exhibit gives some wonderful insights into his life. We are happy to be sharing his story with our visitors.”
The exhibition features artifacts spanning Hope’s early years, the rise of his stage, screen and radio career, his relationships with U.S. Presidents and his devotion to the U.S. military.
Hope is undeniably an emblematic icon in American media history. He appeared in more than 70 films and short films and hosted the Academy Awards a total of 14 times. Over the course of his 80-year career, he displayed his talents as a comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete and author. Known for his rapid-fire jokes and one-liners, Hope spent decades overseas touring to entertain American troops during World War II.
Feature Photo: Getty Images