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North Platte canteen serving WW II soldiers is focus of One Book One Nebraska

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Sometimes an outsider lends a unique perspective to local history.

Lots of writing by Nebraskans deserves attention, but a book by a non-Nebraskan --- the well-known author Bob Greene who reported for many years from Chicago --- was chosen for One Book One Nebraska for 2014. "Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen," will be the subject at many events this year, beginning Jan. 16 with a ceremony in Lincoln.

See the One Book One Nebraska facebook page for information about the events and a related display in Washington, D.C.

"Once Upon a Town" describes the effort in North Platte during the war to provide food and other items for American soldiers passing through by train. Greene writes in the context of a trip he made to Nebraska to report his story about the canteen. The canteen began operating on Christmas 1941, less than three weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Greene, who also wrote another World War II book, earlier this year wrote a CNN column about the four remaining members of the Doolittle Raiders, who took part in a response to Pearl Harbor and who met in Nebraska for one of their recent reunions. Greene wrote that 2013 would be the final meeting of the Doolittle Raiders.

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