Celebrity Visitors at Bushnell Hospital

Helen Keller on a visit to a WWII hospital
Helen Keller visited many military hospitals during World War II to encourage disabled veterans. Her visit to Bushnell took place in December 1944. Sgt. Walter Richardson said of her visit, “Of all the people that have visited here no one has left the hospital so thoroughly impressed, or shall I say inspired.”

Helen Keller was an inspirational guest who showed the men what they could accomplish even with a disability, and many other people with disabilities taught the men how to adapt to civilian life. Comedian Bob Hope, singer and actor Bing Crosby, entertainer Shirley Temple, actor Clark Gable, musician Tommy Dorsey, singer Nat King Cole, and other national celebrities came to Bushnell as well as local figures. Joe McQueen, the Utah jazz musician who was a part of Ogden’s 25th Street scene, said that the amputees at Bushnell were the only people he would perform for without charge.

Sources for this Page

Andrea Kaye Carter, “Bushnell General Military Hospital And The Community of Brigham City, Utah During World War II” (2008). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 162. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/etd/162.
“Hope-Crosby show tickets available,” Bingham Bulletin, June 8, 1945, available at https://digitalnewspapers.org/.
Frederick M. Huchel, A History of Box Elder County (Box Elder County, UT: Utah State Historical Society and Box Elder County Commission, 1999), https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=423122.
Helen Selsdon, “Helen Keller and the American Foundation for the Blind’s Commitment to Veterans Who Have Lost Their Sight,” American Foundation for the Blind, https://www.afb.org/blog/afb-blog/helen-keller-and-the-american-foundation-for-the-blinds-commitment-to-veterans/12.