Army museum to hold Sept. 17 ribbon cutting for first-ever traveling exhibit


Entrance to the special exhibit gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Army

The National Museum of the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir is preparing to debut its first-ever traveling exhibit in its special exhibition gallery — “So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope.”

The exhibit, which showcases the entertainer’s morale-boosting performances and support for service members during World War II and beyond, will officially open with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. Themed activities will continue through the weekend with a swing dance demonstration, chance to try out open mic comedy, putting contest, family craft activity and interactive program focused on Soldiers’ wartime hardships.

Hope was one of several celebrities that participated in the United Service Organizations’ (USO) “camp shows” during World War II, so the Army museum is holding both in-person and virtual history talks on the Army-USO connection on Sept. 14 and 21. In coming months, the museum will hold gallery talks about the traveling exhibit with the museum’s chief curator, as well as a blood drive and an Oct. 20 “Ready to Laugh, Ready to Swing!” golf tournament.

The special Bob Hope exhibition is sponsored by the Army Historical Foundation and produced by the National WWII Museum in conjunction with the Bob and Delores Hope Foundation.

There is no cost to visit the traveling exhibit, though guests will need to register in advance for one of the museum’s free timed-entry admission tickets.

Outside the museum, visitors will notice the extensive construction project taking place at the future Warriors’ Field and Plaza. Those attractions are expected to be completed in May 2023, according to a museum spokesperson.

Ongoing construction of the Warriors' Field and Plaza

The National Museum of the U.S. Army is located on a publicly accessible area of Fort Belvoir at 1775 Liberty Drive.

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