Early Radio in North Platte

Written By: nppladmin - Jan• 22•21
Originally posted to Facebook.com/NorthPlattePL on January 22, 2021.

Today’s Look at History focuses on the early days of radio here in North Platte.

Radio broadcasting was the cheapest form of entertainment, and it provided the public with far better entertainment than most people were accustomed to. As a result, its popularity grew rapidly in the late 1920s and early 1930s. By 1934, 60 percent of the nation’s households had radios, and the 1930s were the Golden Age of radio. It was so popular that theaters dared not open until after the extremely popular “Amos ‘n Andy” show was over.

On July 5, 1930, North Platte’s first radio station, KGNF went on the air!

November 20, 1936, celebrated the Jubilee celebration or Radio in the Lincoln County Tribune. Be sure to scroll through the wonderful pictures from this newspaper edition.

In 1943, the call letters changed from KGNF to KODY, after the station was sold to WOW Radio in Omaha in 1943. Be sure to look at the radio lineup advertised in the Dec 13, 1944 North Platte Daily Bulletin.


North Platte’s Christmas Past

Written By: nppladmin - Dec• 25•20
Originally published at Facebook.com/NorthPlattePL on December 25, 2020.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! A Little North Platte History and memories of Christmas’ past!

Pearl Harbor: Jack Langford’s Journey

Written By: nppladmin - Dec• 04•20
Originally published to Facebook.com/NorthPlattePL on December 4, 2020.

“Pearl Harbor, a day that will live in infamy,” according to then President Franklin Roosevelt. As we remember that day, some 79 years ago, read the miraculous story of one North Platte man.

For one North Platte family, the attack on Pearl Harbor would be the first of many ups and downs for them. In addition, it would give them the “Best letter ever received”, as one local paper reported.

Jack Langford, son of Harold and Marjorie Langford ,was born in North Platte on February 13, 1923. Jack was an outstanding scholar and athletic in school according to teachers and coaches.

In March 1941, Jack joined the Navy. Jack quit school early in the spring of 1941, and departed immediately to serve his country. Even though he didn’t finish high school, Jack was ranked high in academic achievements. And because Jack had already received many scholarships, was an outstanding academic student, and was college bound, the North Platte High School granted Jack Langford his high school diploma.

On December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Jack was stationed on the battleship SS California.

The ship got hit hard. Two torpedo’s and a bomb caused enough damage that it took three days for the ship to sink. There were many casualties.

Back home, here in North Platte, the December 8th newspapers ran a list of local boys that were stationed in Pearl at the time. Jack Langford was on that list and all that his parents could do was wait for word.

A few days later they received a card stating their son was safe and had survived the attack. Then on December 16, 1941, the Langfords’ received a telegram that their son was lost at sea while “engaging the enemy.” The telegram went on to say that if his body could be recovered it would be taken to Pearl Harbor and temporarily buried until the end of the war.

Unbeknownst to the Langfords, Jack was still alive. But they wouldn’t find out until December 29, 1941.

On December 29th, Harold Langford was at work in the North Platte Post Office, he was the local postmaster, and, recognized some handwriting on an envelope and knew it was from his son, Jack.

He opened it immediately.

The letter was written on December 14, 1941 and it said:

“Dear Dad: I am still getting alone fine. Am having a time of my life. Don’t worry about me. I’ll make out all-right. Tell all the folks hello and that I’m thinking of them. My address is F Division, USS_________ (blacked out by the censors). Well, that’s all I can say for now, but I will write again very soon.”

The Langfords believed their son was alive. The letter was postmarked at 9:30 a.m. on the morning of the 15th. They knew several other families in North Platte had been told their sons were lost and then they found out they were still alive. So they hung on to their hope it was a mistake about Jack also.

On January 1, 1942 the Langfords finally got word that the Navy had made a mistake and Jack was alive.

Jack would go on the serve in the Navy until his retirement. He passed away on October 29, 2000 in Kearney, Nebraska.

The North Platte Public Library salutes all current and former service men and women. From the bottom of your heart, we thank you for your sacrifice and service.

…More Local Thanksgiving Advertising

Written By: nppladmin - Nov• 27•20
Originally published to Facebook.com/NorthPlattePL on November 27, 2020.

Throwback History continues today with more newspaper advertising.

As I was combing through the old newspaper editions, I was struck by how much advertising has changed over the years. So I decided to share more advertising that took place during thanksgiving.

Featured during this post are:

1919: Blackbird Pumpkin filling. I had never heard of this brand–anybody every heard of the Blackbird Company??

1919: The Keith Theater had a special Thanksgiving “sparkling musical comedy called “Kiss me Again” featuring Frederick V. Bowers and his big chorus of Broadway beauties! And then an actual picture appeared from the show.

Next are two advertisements–one from 1922 and the other from 1962. Both feature Northwestern Bell Telephone in their advertising. These bring back childhood memories of my rotary dial phones!

1942: This is an article most definitely written during wartime. The photograph accompanying the article was simply called “Feasting Faces”. Both focus on the blessings of life, peace, and family.

The next 2 advertisements are for what was playing at the North Platte Paramount Theater in 1942 and 1962. The 1942 article includes a header at the top of the advertising for the movie “Omaha Trail”. The article reads: “Let us be thankful for our American way of life now being protected and fought for by our boys in the service of our great country. May they speed the day of everlasting Victory and return home.”

1962 featured the advertisement for West Side Story. “BEST PICTURE!” Winner of 10 Academy Awards.

1955 features advertising from the Top Hat TV Center, selling new refrigerators stocked with everything you would need to cook a Thanksgiving Dinner!

And last, but not least, an article from the North Platte Public Library in November 1962. This article features the newest library book purchases in the areas of Thanksgiving Cookery and Entertaining.

We hope you enjoy our trips down memory lane. See you next Friday!

Local Thanksgiving: 1922-1962

Written By: nppladmin - Nov• 26•20
Originally published to Facebook.com/NorthPlattePL on November 26, 2020.

What has a Thanksgiving looked like and cost over the years in North Platte Nebraska? Well, please enjoy walking down memory lane when looking at the advertising from local newspapers from 1922 through 1962.

Starting with the 1920’s Burke’s Cash Grocery listed a few ingredients for a thanksgiving menu, including 3 pounds of sweet potato’s for 25 cents!

From the 1930’s through the 1950’s, many local restaurants served complete turkey dinners with all the trimmings.

The DeLuxe Café (1931) didn’t list their menu but gave you a choice of turkey or goose with all the trimmings for .75 cents.

And the Blue Goose Cafe (1931) listed their menu, which included: Oyster cocktail, Consume ala Royale, Waldorf salad, Filet of Halibut, Club Steak with a rasher of bacon, Fried Chicken Southern Style, Chicken ala King, Roast young turkey with cranberry sauce, Grilled lamb chops on toast, breaded veal cutlet with tomato sauce, stuffed duck with baked apples, asparagus tips omelet, boiled chicken lettuce tomato salad, mashed potatoes, and stewed corn. And for dessert, ice cream and wafers, Mince pie, Pumpkin pie with whipped cream, or English plum pudding with a hard sauce.

The City Café (1939) advertised their Thanksgiving feast menu in the local paper in 1939. The menu called for a roasted young Tom Turkey, yams, potatoes, a choice of brussels sprouts or peas, and rolls. For dessert you could choose from pumpkin pie, minced pie, fruit Jell-o, cheese and crackers or an ice cream dessert. All of that would cost you .50 cents. On

November 22, 1955, Ace’s Towne House printed their Thanksgiving menu and invitation as an article in the newspaper.

In that same newspaper (1955), the Pawnee Hotel offered an exclusive Thanksgiving dinner that cost $1.85 per person, as well as many other options, up to a New York Strip Sirloin entrée with mushrooms for $3.00!

And, since we started with a grocery ad, I thought I would end with a full page grocery advertisement from Maxwell’s IGA from 1962.

We hope that you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. We wish everyone, A Happy Thanksgiving — please stay safe and healthy.

Check in tomorrow for more Throwback Friday History, where we explore more advertising from Thanksgiving edition newspapers!