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USO Club

This building holds significance in African American history as it served as a host to black soldiers in 1942 under the United Service Organizations (USO) umbrella, welcoming soldiers arriving at Fort Lewis to serve in World War II. This center was exclusively opened for the African American soldiers. 

Due to the high demand for the 713 Commerce Street building, an expansion occurred in 1944 with the addition of 715 Commerce. The facility was equipped with a game room, music room, hobby center, library, snack bar, darkroom, showers, and dormitory, catering to the needs of the soldiers stationed there. 

The USO, a national organization established in 1941, aimed to provide recreation and general assistance to servicemen and was comprised of six agencies: YMCA, YWCA, Salvation Army, Jewish Welfare Bureau, National Catholic Community Services, and Travelers Aid. 

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