Looking Back on a Bob Hope Christmas

“I guess I have my critics everywhere.” – Bob Hope, after a bomb went off in his hotel shortly before his arrival in Saigon.

It was 69 years ago today – Dec. 22, 1942 – that legendary comedian Bob Hope entertained U.S. airmen stationed in Alaska, beginning a Christmas tradition that lasted for decades.

For that first trip to Alaska, Hope was obliged to obtain a special permit.  Years later, in 1997, he became the only civilian in history to be named an honorary veteran by the United States Congress for his work with the Armed Forces.

“I have seen what a laugh can do,” Hope said once. “It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”

-Mike Crisolago