News Item

New Elvis Presley T-Shirts Created to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Benefit Concert for the USS Arizona Memorial

March 21, 2011

In conjunction with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., Pacific Historic Parks (formerly known as the Arizona Memorial Museum Association) is now offering a limited-edition Elvis Presley t-shirt to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Presley’s historic benefit concert at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard Bloch Arena in Hawaii. Held on March 25, 1961, the concert raised funds to help build the USS Arizona Memorial. This exclusive Elvis t-shirt is only available through December 31, 2011.

Designed and produced in Hawaii, the t-shirts feature an image of the original concert billboard with Elvis Presley in his trademark gold lame suit and include a hangtag replica of the concert ticket. T-shirts are $24.95 and available only through Pacific Historic Parks at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center bookstore or via their online bookstore at Proceeds from this Elvis Presley commemorative t-shirt will support the educational programs at the USS Arizona Memorial and the new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

“Elvis Presley gave of his time and fame to ensure the memories of those who sacrificed on December 7, 1941, and the lessons learned from the attack on Pearl Harbor are never forgotten,” said Tom Shaw, President and CEO, Pacific Historic Parks. “Pacific Historic Parks shares that commitment and together with Elvis Presley Enterprises, we hope our commemorative endeavor helps Elvis Presley’s legacy of giving continue on.”

To support the efforts of Pacific Historic Parks and to commemorate the anniversary of this important occasion, on March 21, 2011, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. will be posting photos and video from this historic event on and on the free Elvis Mobile app on iTunes.

“This is one of many examples we have of Elvis’ desire to use his talent to help and honor others,” said Jack Soden, President and CEO, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. “Especially considering his own military service, we’re certain this one was especially significant to Elvis.”

Elvis Radio on Sirius XM will be rebroadcasting the original concert on Friday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m., Sunday, March 27 at 12:00 a.m., Sunday, March 27 at 10:00 p.m., and Tuesday, March 29 at 6:00 a.m. All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

Elvis Presley’s Benefit Concert for the USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial straddles the sunken battleship and is dedicated to remembering all those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Back in 1960, initial fundraising efforts to build the Memorial had stalled, with only half of the funds needed raised. In an effort to re-energize the campaign, Hawaii journalists sent out an appeal to newspaper editors across the country asking for editorial support. Elvis Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, read about the effort to raise funds and decided to do a benefit concert in Hawaii to help.

More than 4,000 fans attended the concert on March 25, 1961, purchasing tickets ranging in price from $3 to $100. The concert, which featured Elvis Presley and an all-star lineup of entertainers, raised just over $54,000 toward the $500,000 goal. Many public and private donations followed the show, and the USS Arizona Memorial was dedicated on May 30, Memorial Day, 1962.

Today, the USS Arizona Memorial is managed by the National Park Service (NPS), and includes the newly rebuilt $56 million Pearl Harbor Visitor Center located shore side. Built on 17.4 acres in an “open campus” setting, the visitor center features a new museum, two movie theaters, outdoor exhibits, research and education center, an expanded bookstore and audio tour program operated by Pacific Historic Parks, and centralized ticketing for the USS Arizona Memorial and other Pearl Harbor historic attractions.

About Pacific Historic Parks
Formed in 1979, Pacific Historic Parks (PHP) is a non-profit cooperating association with the National Park Service whose mission is to support and fund educational and interpretive programs for the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor; American Memorial Park on Saipan; War in the Pacific National Historical Park on Guam; and Kalaupapa National Historical Park on the island of Molokai.

Originally known as the Arizona Memorial Museum Association (AMMA), many charter members were originally from the Fleet Reserve Association, which had been involved in the fundraising for the construction of the USS Arizona Memorial in 1961.

Today, funding is generated through PHP’s online retail sales and park site bookstores, audio tour programs, public membership support and fundraising campaigns. Recently, PHP successfully lead a $56 million capital campaign for the reconstruction and expansion of the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center. The center was renamed the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and was dedicated on December 7, 2010. For more information, visit or call (808) 954-8777.