Queen Mary Honors Bob Hope's Inaugural Performance on Ship with Exhibit


Bob Hope performing on The Queen Mary in 1939. Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary.

Some folks slept on the floor Some in the corridor
But I was more exclusive
My room had GENTLEMEN above the door...

"Thanks for the Memory" (1938; music by Ralph Rainger and lyric by Leo Robin)

75 years ago this September, in 1939, Bob Hope performed his first wartime routine on the Queen Mary.

According to legend, Hope and his wife were returning from Europe on the now-vintage oceanliner when war was declared. German U-boats had begun their skulking, so the Queen Mary’s captain ordered that all portholes be painted, windows covered and lights shut off, with Hope being asked to help calm the nerves of anxious passengers.

Hope performed in the First Class Lounge, singing his classic “Thanks for the Memory," and easing the anxieties of the liner's passengers.

Now the legend of Bob Hope is being celebrated in the Timeline area of the "Queen Mary Story" tour while the ship will be hosting a traveling, 2,200-square-foot exhibit, "Bob Hope: An American Treasure." The four-month exhibit opened August 9 and will run through January 2015.

The exhibit includes reproductions of more than 200 vintage photos, seven videos and more than 170 items, including an original vaudeville contract from 1922; his Ellis Island medal; the last set of golf clubs he 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.

The exhibit runs through January 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 10:00AM. to 6:30PM. For more information, click here. “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.

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