The City of Lebanon is thrilled to announce its partnership with the St. Robert Historical Preservation Committee, INC, in the placement of a significant historical marker at the location of the first African American USO in the area.
This collaborative effort aims to honor and celebrate an important piece of local history and provide the public with an opportunity to engage and appreciate the significance of this site.
The historical marker is situated on Main Street, between Catherine and Broadway streets at Lebanon Properties. Late last year, the St. Robert Historical Preservation Committee approached the city with the idea of placing the marker at the site. Recognizing the importance of preserving and promoting local history, the City of Lebanon promptly stepped in to help make this marker a reality, with the Street Department building the sidewalk and installing the plaque at the site.
The USO began its campaign to establish a presence in the Fort Leonard Wood area in March of 1941. After facing unfortunate obstacles and being unable to secure a rental property in the Rolla area where the Caucasian USO was located, the USO found a home in Lebanon. The African American USO closed upon finally being able to find a place in Rolla.
Following the move, the building was donated to the community and later became the William T. Vernon Colored School, serving the community until its closure in 1958.