Hannah Block Historic USO celebrates 80th anniversary in fashion

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – At the Hannah Block Community Center, people partied in Wilmington on Fridays like they did in 1941, encouraging people to take their dance shoes and jitterbug for a good cause.

The center celebrated its 80th birthday in style and hosted a World War II USO dance from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. All proceeds go to the Hannah Block Historic Community Arts Building conservation fund.

The building is an important part of the local art community and hosts numerous types of events, including ceramic sales and children’s musicals.

Susan Habas, executive director of the Thalian Association, said the USO Center hosted concerts, dances, and basketball games in the 1940s that drew thousands of people.

“At the height of the war, 63,000 soldiers came into this building every month,” says Habas, “and in that context we can now see 63,000 a year.”

More than 100 people attended the dance on Friday, helping to preserve the history of the Hannah Block and secure its future.