Karin A. France

Document Type


Publication Date



Portland Jewish Community Center, 1940's, USO, US Navy, World War II, WWII, United Service Organization, Portland, Maine, Social Events, Servicemen, Nurses



The Jewish Community Center on Cumberland Avenue in Portland, Maine was the site of United Service Organization (USO) social events, held regularly from at least October 1943 to September 1946. Most of the servicemen (and some women who were nurses) who attended events at the Community Center were in the Navy, stationed on shops docked or anchored in Casco Bay. These social events were sometimes held out on the islands. Although hosted by the Jewish Community Center, anyone was welcome, regardless of religion. Eleanor Edison Taft saved this ledger listing the names of attendees at the USO events when the office was being cleaned out. She was born in Portland, and her first secretarial job after high school was at the Jewish Community Center. This is a bound ledger used for guests to sign in at events at the Jewish Community Center in the 1940s. It holds names and ranks of attendees, their city and state or country of origin, and occasional comments and names of ships

Date Range:


Size of Collection:

1 ft.



The Portland Jewish Community Center USO Guest Book is the product of social events at the Portland Jewish Community Center from 1943-46. The guest book was donated in February 2010 by Nancy E. Bogg of Cape Elizabeth, ME on behalf of the estate of her cousin, Eleanor Edison Taft.

Ownership and Literary Rights:

The Portland Jewish Community Center USO Guest Book is the physical property of the University of Southern Maine Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the creator or her/his legal heirs and assigns.

For further information, consult the Head of Special Collections,



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