The Hattiesburg USO Club will celebrate its 75-year service to the community in March of next year, with events around the African American Military History Museum (AAMHM) from March 22 – 25, 2017.
The club opened in 1942 as a recreational hall for black soldiers in World War II and eventually became what is now the AAMHM.
According to the brochure, “This [USO Club] building is the only remaining USO constructed especially for African American soldiers in public use in the United States. It is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is a Mississippi Landmark.”
The USO Club will host a day of appreciation on March 22 for those who initially opened the building in 1942, and volunteers will go into the community on the subsequent Thursday, March 23.
On March 24, the first Miss USO Pageant will take place at the museum, followed by a 1940s-themed car show. The pageant is something that is specifically beneficial to the participants and the community as a whole according to Education Coordinator for the African American Military Museum Shuntashia Coleman.
“The Miss USO pageant allows participants to do service projects and mix and mingle, as well as build confidence,” Coleman said. “The car show will be for 1940s cars that may have been parked at the USO in the 1940s. Bands will be performing that day and everyone will be 1940s attire. It will be a trip to the past for all in attendance.”
The museum is located at 305 East 6th Street in the historic downtown area of Hattiesburg. Admission is free, although donations are accepted and welcomed, and anyone may enjoy the museum at their own expense.
The museum is also open Wednesday through Friday from 10-4 p.m and also Saturday 12-4 p.m.
The next event for the museum will be held on Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. with the museum hosting a Holiday Open House, immediately following the Vietnam War Commemoration Program.