Anna Lansburgh, 75, who for years operated as a sort of one-woman USO from her home in Washington, died Tuesday at Washington Hospital Center after a long illness.
Although she was confined to her home for many years because of ill health, Mrs. Lansburgh made continual use of her telephone to run her Unification Society.
She started it before Pearl Harbor and continued it through World War II and for many years after the war, working with the cooperation of recreation officers at area military bases.
By calling Mrs. Lansburgh at her well publicized phone number, thousands of young women arranged to participate in dances and other parties at Ft. Myer, Ft. McNair, Andrews Marine bases at Quantico.
They were transported by buses waiting for them at the District Building night after night. The transportation and parties were free. They also were strictly chaperoned.
Mrs. Lansburgh financed some of this operation from her own meager means. She cajoled contributions from other citizens. The military provided the chaperones. She wheedled newspapers into giving her publicity about upcoming events.
Mrs. Lansburgh did not restrict herself to providing companionship for servicemen. She coaxed food from delicatessens and groceries to give to the needy. She helped with war bond sales and a project to spread the techniques of hydroponic agriculture - the process of growing vegetables without soil - to desolate lands overseas.
Born in Austria, Mrs. Lansburgh, while still a young woman, established a reputation there for aiding refugees in Vienna in the years following World War I.
She came to this country in the 1920s, and with her husband, Harry, operated a seafood stall on the Washington waterfront. She continued its operation after his death until the late 1930s, when she became ill.