Houston Wrestling War Bond Show
On this day, 70 years ago, in front of a packed house at Houston’s City Auditorium, a war bond fundraising event was held in support of the 4th War Loan. However, this event was perhaps unlike other war bond rallies of the day as its headline entertainment featured a mixture of orchestral symphony music and action-packed pro wrestling!
At the top of the five-bout card that evening, legendary mat-technician Lou Thesz fought World Heavyweight Champion ‘Wild’ Bill Longson to a hard-fought time-limit draw. The Houston Symphony Orchestra played both during intermissions and – according to the program for the event (‘for the first time in the history of wrestling’) – during the last three matches while the action was underway. It was reported as well that Houston Symphony Orchestra conductor Ernst Hoffmann had to personally deal with one disgruntled pro wrestler who blamed his loss on the distracting music.
This unusual mix of highbrow and lowbrow entertainment was a huge success, raising over $7 million dollars in war bond sales.
This post by Collin Makamson, Family Programs & Outreach Coordinator @ The National WWII Museum