‘Bob Hope: An American Treasure’ exhibit now calls Hawaii home

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — He was a comedian, an actor, a dancer, an all-around entertainer, an athlete, a humanitarian, but probably the most important to him was being a patriot.

That is what made Bob Hope an American treasure, and that is the name of the new world-class exhibit at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.

KHON2 met with its executive director, Elissa Lines, to find out more about the interesting exhibit.

Being a travelling exhibit, what does that mean and what can people expect when they come to visit?

“That’s a really great question,” says Lines. “We are excited. The traveling exhibit means that it went to numerous locations around the country. For me, too, the most important and the most significant locations is that it was at Ellis Island. Bob Hope was part of an immigrant family that came from England and went through Ellis Island. It was very important in Bob Hope’s story to talk about how he rose from his humble beginnings to become so well known across our country. It was also at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. So, for it to be here and for this to be the permanent home means forever going forward, his archive and his story will be told here in the Pacific.”

What is Bob Hope’s connection to Hawaii and what is the significance for this being his permanent resting place from now on?

“As we were talking through the exhibit with you today, we did take a look at the wonderful connection that Bob Hope had to Hawaii,” says Lines. “Performances on every island, and multiple performances, friends with Don Ho and Jim Neighbors and really part of the fiber of the Hawaiian culture. But we were looking at this one exhibit panel that in 1944, 100,000 servicemen signed a petition asking Bob Hope to come and perform in Hawaii. So, its just an incredible reaction to the relief to the horrors of war that Bob was able to bring to our servicemen and women.”

One awesome thing about Bob Hope was that he was able to connect with a lot of people.

What is the Bob “Hope” that people walk away with after leaving this exhibit?

“We really do hope that people will see that the value of laughter and that connection with people really helped change lives, gave people comfort, and we hope people will remember their own happy moments and the places and the activities that they were participation in and pass that on to the next generation. it is important for us to carry those stories forward,” says Lines. “One of the things that a lot of people don’t know about Bob Hope is after his performances at these military bases, many of our servicemen who were out in the battlefield felt such a personal connection to bob that they wrote to him about the horrors of war, things that they couldn’t share with their families because they didn’t want their families to worry. And Bob answered. He answered these letters to service people as though they were part of his family. So, this is about family. Its about traditional and legacy.”

Bob Hope’s career spanned nearly eight decades. He passed away at 100 years old in 2003. Many of his stories and successes now reside in the exhibit.

It is open everyday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and its free with the admission to the museum.

To get all the information, click here.

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