Iconic Images Of My Youth #1February 21, 2012
Growing up in the 1960’s one thing you could count on every Christmas was Bob Hope’s annual Christmas Show from overseas where he and his annual entourage of stars toured military bases and outposts in areas of war. During the 60’s, of course, that meant Vietnam.Hope’s annual Christmas Show started in 1964 and rain through 1972 and I have vivid memories of watching them year after year.
I had that Summer of ’67 vibe going on and all, but still, I had cousins, a brother in law and local guys who were in Vietnam serving, including one cousin who volunteered for three tours! So yeah, I was very, very young when I realized that the politicians and war munitions corporations were manipulating the politicans and public and sacrificing our young solders (mostly through the draft) lives to further their profiteering (which is what President Eisenhower, a Repblican, warned us of!). So yeah, hate the asshole politicians and their puppeteers, but support the troops who really had no choice (especially those who went via the draft) is what I learned very, very young.
But Hope, love him or hate him, he was old school of the oldest order, but for decades, starting in 1941, he left his family and went to where the troops were, usually in the midst of fighting and bombing. So you gotta give the old hoofer credit.
Plus Hope, a well known womanizer, always had the prettiest, sexiest and hottest female celebs with him, sizzlers like Ann Margaret, Connie Stevens, Raquel Welch, Jill St.John, The Golddiggers, Joey Heatherton and many others. That surely brought Hope and NBC ratings. It didn’t keep me from watching!
Each stop in South Vietnam was filmed life and then editied to a 90-minute special, usually aired in January, with sponsorship by Chrysler which allowed the show to run commercial free.
Seen here are images from Hope’s 1967 tour in which he took along Raquel Welch who thrilled the troops and boosted morale to the extreme. By 1967 over 500,000 USA soldiers were over there and at some shows attendance reached 25,000, as was the case in these images from 1967.