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This is the Army

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Seventy years ago today, on 4 July 1942, Irving Berlin’s musical This is the Army premiered at the Broadway Theatre in New York City. This reworking of his WWI play, Yip! Yip! Yaphank, was intended to be a four-week fundraiser, but after its initial run and a successful national tour, the show had raised over two million dollars. The all-soldier revue became a racially-integrated detachment of the Army’s Special Services Division. The national tour was followed by a long stint at camps and bases overseas. Berlin would often accompany the revue and perform for the troops as well. In the end, the musical would outlast the war; the last performance was on 22 October 1945 in Hawaii. Berlin donated all of the proceeds from the shows, the sale of sheet music and the film rights to the Army Emergency Relief Fund.

Post by Curator Kimberly Guise.

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