Entertainment is always a national asset. Invaluable in time of peace, it is indispensable in wartime.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943
The entertainment industry promoted two morale-boosting initiatives that achieved phenomenal success. On April 17, 1941, the USO (United Service Organizations) was formed by six prominent social service agencies with the approval of President Roosevelt, and was dedicated “to the maintenance of morale” of armed forces personnel. On April 30, Roosevelt bought the first U.S. Savings Bond in a campaign designed to offset the cost of the impending war and “strengthen the national morale” by allowing average citizens the opportunity to buy bonds. Many of Hollywood’s most popular stars promoted the sale of bonds on screen and at rallies. By war’s end, $185 billion had been raised through bonds and stamps, and USO Camp Shows had entertained 161 million soldiers in the U.S. and abroad.