Spotlight Stateside USO Troop Collection
2008.0001

Summary Information

Repository
Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Creator
Watts, Bill, Dr.
Title
Spotlight Stateside USO Troop Collection
ID
2008.0001
Date
1957
Extent
3.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
This collection consists of 6 banners and a letter to the members of “Spotlight Stateside” collected by Bill Watts about the Spotlight Stateside USO Troop Tour.

Preferred Citation note

Spotlight Stateside USO Troop Collection, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

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Biographical/Historical note

United Service Organizations (USO)

United Service Organizations (USO) is a private, nonprofit association that provides morale, welfare and recreation-type services to uniformed military personnel and their families. The mission of United Service Organizations is “to bring a touch of home to our men and women in uniform, until every one comes home.”

United Service Organizations was formed in 1941 in response to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request to meet the recreation needs of the United States armed forces, and coordinated by six civilian agencies--the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board. In 1944 this organization reached its high point with more than 3000 clubs but had almost disbanded by 1947. However, in 1950 when the United States got into the Korean War, the United Services Organizations regrouped and continued to expand both at home and abroad, and now it operates more than 130 locations around the world, including Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan, and has more than 25,000 volunteers worldwide, which are the essence of this organization. United Service Organizations has also been strongly supported by individual donors, partners and sponsors like AT&T and Coca-Cola, and United Service Organizations Congressional Caucus.

The programs and services provided under the United Services Organizations include morale-boosting programs, orientation programs, family events, travel assistance, free Internet and e-mail access, and recreation services. Also for tens of years, besides volunteers, celebrities like singers, actors, comedians, and sports figures, have joined the forces with this organization to entertain troops and boost their morale.

Spotlight Stateside

In 1957, for the Far Eastern Command by the Department of Defense, the Kansas State Teachers College’s entertainment troupe Spotlight Stateside had a 51-day tour of the Far East, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, and Hawaii. They presented around 50 performances to the servicemen there, including the musical comedy “Once Upon A Mattress.”

Bill Watts

Bill Watts received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1953 and Master of Science degree in Speech in 1956 from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia. He was the technical director of Spotlight Statewide troupe, and joined the Far East tour in 1957. He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theater from the University of Oregon in 1970 and then began to teach as a professor in the Drama Department at Angelo State University, Texas until his retirement in 1999.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents the activities of the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia’s Spotlight Stateside United Service Organizations Troop in 1957. It consists of 6 banners in Chinese writing expressing the FAFA’s thanks for the performance of the Kansas State Teachers College students and faculty for the American and Chinese troops in the Far East. The red “Reunion of Sino-American” banner was donated by Admiral Ling, Commander, First Naval District in Taiwan and the golden “Greetings from 1,000 miles” banner by the Mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan; the remaining four banners were all donated by FAFA. The greeting “Within All 4 Seas 1 Family” is on the white banner, “Greeting from 10,000 Miles” is on the purple one, “The Elevation of Morale” is on the grey one, and “To United States Kansas State Variety Arrival at Pingtung as a Souvenir” is on the yellow one. Also included in this collection is an invitational travel order detailing the tour member names, travel schedule, luggage requirements and traveling expenses.

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Arrangement note

The banners are arranged by size; the travel order is a single item.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives November-December 2008

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431
archives@emporia.edu

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Other records with respect to the Spotlight Stateside United Service Organizations Troop can be found in the 1967 Sunflower yearbook, in the June 17, June 24, and August 12, 1957 editions of  Bulletin, in a DVD disc titled  USO Trip and in the original film strip in Emporia State University Foundation record group (002.005.002). Other records about Bill Watts can be found in the June 10, 1957  Bulletin.

Separated Materials note

None.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Spotlight Stateside (Emporia, Kan.) -- Tours.
  • United Service Organizations (U.S.) -- Tours.
  • United Service Organizations (U.S.).

Subject(s)

  • Banners -- Taiwan.
  • Korean War, 1950-1953.
  • Soldiers -- Recreation -- East Asia -- 20th century.
  • Student activities -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Students and war -- Kansas -- Emporia.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Travel order, 1957. 

2 1
Box

Banner - The white banner has “Within All 4 Seas 1 Family” stitched on it, 1957. 

1
Box

Banner - The purple Banner has “Greeting from 10,000 Miles” stitched on it, 1957. 

1

The grey Banner has “The Elevation of Morale” stitched on it, 1957. 

1

The yellow banner has “To United States Kansas State Variety Arrival at Pingtung as a Souvenir” stitched on it, 1957. 

1
Object

Rolled Banners - The red “Reunion of Sino-American” banner was donated by Admiral Ling, Commander, First Naval District in Taiwan,  1957. 

1

“Greetings from 1,000 miles”, donated by the Mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 1957. 

1

“Greetings from 10,000 miles”, 1957. 

1