1967 Canteen Reunion #1
Photo Courtesy of Lincoln County Historical Museum
Once more would North Platte’s Navy Mothers Club serve those with brass buttons and stripes.

1967 Canteen Reunion #2
Photo Courtesy of Lincoln County Historical Museum
Later, the curious browsed where once servicemen and women rubbed elbows.

1967: As some Americans questioned the country's involvement in the Vietnam conflict, North Platte took time to recall another war where causes seemed clear-cut. The year was the Nebraska statehood centennial and a reunion of former canteen workers within the very same walls of 1941-1946 was one way the city celebrated. The Union Pacific Railroad cooperated to reopen the canteen for three weeks that summer, with displays of mementoes and former workers from each participating community returning to serve treats to visitors. Then-UP President Edd Bailey served as honorary canteen reunion chairman. Visitors to the reunion totaled more than 5,700 with 189 of them being veterans who passed through some 25 years earlier (see newspaper article).

The canteen doors later came open again. This time, 1973, it was North Platte’s centennial and the original volunteers returned again to renew the hospitality during a week in May. Then-UP President John C. Kenefick came to town, along with the railroad's last operating steam locomotive, while the old soldiers stopped once more for coffee. It would be the last laureate for the canteen building.

South Platte Press


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