Marking the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the new plaque dedicated to Elvis’ fundraising show in support of the USS Arizona Memorial was unveiled this week.
The plaque reads...
“On March 21, 1961, Elvis Presley performed in a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena to raise funds for the construction of the USS Arizona Memorial.
Elvis held his pre-concert press conference here at Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Following the concert, Elvis remained at the hotel for the filming of the renowned movie, “Blue Hawaii.”
The hotel was to become his place of retreat during his many visits to Hawai’i.
Dedicated on December 7, 2021 – The 80th Anniversary of the Day of Infamy – by the World War II Foundation.”
The plaque is displayed in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Tower, where the history of the hotel is shown on posters on the wall. (Note: Elvis' concert at Bloch Arena was in fact on March 25th 1961. How did they get that wrong)
A background article on the Memorial and PBS documentary by the Elvis News Examiner commented: "Without Presley’s concert, the USS Arizona memorial may have never been finished".
As George Chaplin wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser in 1991: “His [Presley’s] Hawaii concert did more than raise money. It created national publicity and revived public sentiment for the memorial. That September, Congress was prodded into voting $150,000; then the Hawaii Legislature added $50,000 to a previous contribution.”
It's a good start, but there should be much more at the actual Pearl Harbour reception area, if not at the actual memorial. I was looking for a plaque at the land-based display area, which is run by Rangers with Boy Scout hats. I politely asked one of these rangers behind the desk if there was anything there mentioning Elvis. He replied that Elvis only played a very small part in the fundraising & that if I wanted Elvis I should go to Graceland. I asked the rude b*stard how much he thought Elvis had actually raised & he did not know. He continued to dress me down in an aggressive mode, making it very clear he did not like Elvis, or his fans... I raised my video camera to record this & he threatened me with removal...
Its great and all that, but the concert was on the 25th march 1961
My artistic assets are zero so perhaps I should not criticise but could I have guessed this so called likeness was Elvis, well quite frankly no. Additionally when and why did Blue Hawaii become Blue Hawai'i or is that something I need some education on.
It is similar in style to the plaque eventually unveiled in the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame.
At least they are there!
ChrisElvis55 : yep, you're right, 25th march 1961. Replace it with the correct date ist he least they should do.
Wow!!! How, just how, did they get the date of the benefit concert WRONG??
~ As a lifelong Elvis fan (age 63 now), I'm fine with there being no Elvis Presley plaque near the USS Arizona. The attention that the memorial brings should be strictly directed at those who lost their lives there on that dreadful day of December 7, 1941... and I think Elvis would wholeheartedly agree with me on that.