The Canteen Spirit Story

Air Date: 01/01/2005

Their spirit, patriotism and generosity impacted more than 6 million soldiers who passed through North Platte on their way to serve in World War II.

The Canteen Spirit chronicles the story of the World War II North Platte Canteen, which made history when residents of 125 communities from across the state greeted millions of soldiers over a nearly five-year period, as their trains made a ten-minute stop at the North Platte depot. Canteen workers provided sandwiches, cakes, cookies, hard-boiled eggs, doughnuts, beverages, cigarettes, magazines, and more, never once running out of provisions in its years of operation.

Annie Mumgaard and an NET crew filmed interviews with World War II veterans and former Canteen volunteers at a Canteen reunion in North Platte.

Through historic photos, stories told through the generations, and interviews with veterans and former Canteen volunteers, The Canteen Spirit brings to life the patriotism and generosity of the North Platte Canteen.

Just as in the days of the actual Canteen, residents and businesses in the North Platte area rallied behind the cause to assist in the production of the documentary, raising $30,000 to support production costs. More than 400 donors contributed.

The Canteen Spirit was made possible in part by Patrick and Kathleen Keenan of North Platte; the Lincoln County Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation; the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce; the North Platte High School Graduating Class of 1953; James and Rhonda Seacrest of Lincoln; Union Pacific Railroad; and Wells Fargo Bank.