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Elvis Named in History Channel's "5 Facts About Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona"

December 07, 2012

Today in "History in the Headlines" on, the History Channel names five facts about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona. The post talks about how Elvis played an integral role in raising money for the construction of the USS Arizona Memorial.

"In March of 1961, entertainer Elvis Presley, who had recently finished a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena that raised over $50,000 — more than 10 percent of the USS Arizona Memorial’s final cost."

On March 25, 1961, Elvis performed a benefit concert to help the memorial. At the time, fundraising for the memorial had lost much of its early momentum. The $500,000 necessary for construction was a distant goal, with no serious prospects on the horizon. When Honolulu Advertiser editor and WWII veteran George Chaplin appealed to a national audience for support, Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, responded by calling the Advertiser and saying, “I know a young man whose services can be a big help.”

With admirals and generals vying with Oahu teenagers, housewives and music fans for tickets, the 1961 Bloch Arena concert was a big success, netting over $54,000 and raising national awareness of the fundraising campaign. The USS Arizona Memorial would go on to secure many more private, state, and federal donations just in time for the Memorial Day dedication in 1962.

Elvis Presley Enterprises continues to carry on Elvis' legacy and recently helped raise money for the refurbishment of the memorial during our "Fan Club Presidents Event" at Elvis Week 2012

Learn more about the "5 Facts About Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona" by visiting Elvis fans can also check out rare video and photos of Elvis' 1961 appearance or learn more about touring the USS Arizona Memorial during our 40th Anniversary Celebration of "Aloha From Hawaii" by visiting