June 28, 2019 — Performers have long been lifting morale and entertaining the troops. For some, like Bob Hope, this was a career-long process. Called “America’s No. 1 Soldier in Greasepaint,” Hope remained dedicated to the troops in both war and peace.

One young army captain from Fargo, “Ronnie” Severson, saw Hope perform during a War Bond show. Severson had a habit of impersonating individuals. When he was later introduced to Hope, he impersonated the entertainer’s own style during their conversation. Hope liked this, and told Severson to contact him when he left the service.

Several years later, on this date in 1946, Severson signed on to accompany “G.I. Bob” on a cross-country tour!

“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie Public in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council. See all the Dakota Datebooks at prairiepublic.org, or subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast.

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