In the 1940s, Manhattan began construction on what was then the U.S.O. for African-American soldiers. This building also provided education and recreation for the soldiers and the black community. After World War II, this building was donated to the City of Manhattan and became the foundation of the Douglass Center. It provided a safe place for kids to go for recreation. The center continues to provide affordable recreational programming for the entire community.
Douglass Park is adjacent to the annex at the Douglass Community Center.