To the Editor: Historic USO turns 75

To the Editor: Historic USO turns 75 On Oct. 13, 2020, we – and the whole Indian Wells community – will celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of the Historic USO Building!

On Oct. 13, 1945, the venerable building was opened as the USO Club of Ridgecrest. For those of you who may be familiar with mathematics, that’s 75 years ago.

During those 75 years (and remember, some of you were here when the historic building was opened!) the building was a USO Club, a Kern County civic center and courthouse, a City of Ridgecrest community and recreation center, and the headquarters of the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert.

Today, HSUMD has restored most of the old county buildings along with the Historic USO Building, and used the venerable building to recreate a venue for treasured community activities and events.

Because we remain closed due to the pandemic, we will not be able to host the kind of event for the community that we did in 2015. But that does not mean that we can ignore the importance of the anniversary celebration and all that the building has meant to the whole valley for all this time. There is no other building that has meant so much to all of us in the Indian Wells Valley. So, we are going to improvise!

HSUMD is creating a video/audio historical panorama of the Historic USO Building that will be uploaded to the HSUMD website ( in mid-October for all to watch. Further, the renowned band of local musical geniuses called The WAZ, with the help of Mc2 McCoy and McEntee Sound & Lighting, will perform on our Historic USO Building’s stage and the performance will be recorded and then uploaded for you all to watch and enjoy!

It is sad that we cannot bring us together in person for such a truly momentous anniversary of our collective history. We can only hope that you all understand and feel the importance that the Historic USO Building holds in our community’s story. And we hope that you enjoy the history and music that we will offer for your entertainment and education.

The Historic USO Building has stood for 75 years as “a bright star in our city’s constellation!”

Tex Hoppus, HSUMD president

Story First Published: 2020-10-02