North Platte Canteen Opens
One of the most visible contributions to the war effort associated with Union Pacific was its maintenance of servicemen's canteens and USOs at stops like the North Platte depot. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the canteen operated every day for 51 consecutive months, serving as many as 10,000 servicemen and women each day. Soldiers passing through were greeted with free sandwiches, coffee, cookies, cigarettes and friendly smiles. In December 1943, the North Platte Canteen was awarded the War Department’s Meritorious Wartime Service Award.