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Bob Hope Memorial Library Dedicated

Ellis Island National Monument

National Park News

On Monday, November 24th, the National Park Service, the Ellis Island Restoration Commission, and Congressman Eliot Engel of New York dedicated the newly renamed Bob Hope Memorial Library at Ellis Island with the help of Hope’s daughter, Linda. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) was also on hand to unveil a commemorative postage stamp to be issued next May featuring the beloved comedian’s image.

Hope’s family emigrated from England in 1908 when he was a boy of four. He rose to fame in vaudeville and then made the leap to film and international stardom. His work entertaining American troops for five decades firmly established him as an American legend and in 1997 he became the first person recognized by Congress as an “honorary veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

“At Ellis Island we celebrate all immigrants who helped shape this nation,” said superintendent Cynthia Garrett. “Bob Hope is an exemplar of the heights to which an immigrant can soar.”

The legislation to rename the research library at Ellis Island the Bob Hope Memorial Library was sponsored by Congressman Engel, who said, “The library will serve as a daily reminder to visitors to Ellis Island of all of Bob Hope’s contributions. It is a fitting tribute.”

Katherine C. Tobin, a member of the USPS Board of Governors, was on hand to unveil the commemorative stamp.

“What better venue to preview the stamp image that immortalizes the achievements of one of America’s true entertainment treasures than Ellis Island, where Bob Hope first set foot on American soil, and where today the National Park Service is dedicating a library in his honor,” she said.

One of those present at the dedication was Fred Schnetter, a retired Air Force master sergeant and veteran of WWII. While stationed in Berlin as part of the Berlin Airlift, Schnetter attended Hope’s very first USO Christmas Show, and recalls it fondly. “I don’t remember everyone who performed that day, but you don’t forget Bob Hope,” he said, stifling tears.

“The naming of the Bob Hope Memorial Library and the commemorative U.S. postage stamp are wonderful tributes to my father, who arrived at this isle of hope 100 years ago,” said Linda Hope. “He fully achieved the promise of American and dedicated his life to the service of his adopted country.”

Nodding towards the poster-sized stamp, she added, “This image is absolutely perfect. There’s a twinkle in his eye, and that was Dad.”


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