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Our Boom town: NP’s time of growth Town Welcome to Our Town, the Telegraph’s annual look at progress throughout North Platte. We’ve chosen this year to investigate the changes in a variety of areas over the past 50 years. In today’s installment of Our Town, we take a look at how entities throughout North Platte have evolved, from the city’s growth and changes in law enforcement to construction of new facilities for both North Platte Public Schools and the Catholic schools. In the next issue of Our Town later this month, stories will outline additions to the church community, dramatic developments in health care and changes that Nebraskaland Days has taken over the years. Plus, there are all kinds of historical tidbits about the last five decades. So take a few minutes for a sentimental journey through North Platte’s history over the past 50 years.

I-80, Bailey Yard expansion led to extraordinary period of development for North Platte By ANDREW BOTTRELL

The early 1970s were a time of a great change for the city of North Platte. From 1968 to 1976, North Platte’s population grew from 16,000 to 24,000. “When you grow 50 percent in eight years, you have some challenges to deal with,” Bob Phares, the mayor from 1968-76, said. Between 1960 and 1974, the federal government was in the process of constructing Interstate 80, which would shift growth in North Platte to the south. Union Pacific was expanding Bailey Yard to where it ultimately would become the largest rail classification yard in the country. That left the city with challenges, from zoning and housing to sewer and streets. The first place city officials had to start, Phares said, was with a comprehensive plan. “We didn’t have a comprehensive plan, so we got one pretty early on,” he said.

The first step in expanding city services was moving the police department out of its old facility on East Eighth Street, which wasn’t adequate anymore to house prisoners or an expanding police force. Phares said he called a work session of the North Platte City Council, loaded the council up in a van and drove from City Hall to the police station. “We marched them all back [into the jail] and said ‘this is the focus of the work session,’” he said. Likewise, City Hall was in need of expansion. At the time, the building that today houses only the Municipal Light and Water Department along North Vine Street housed the light and water department, as well as administration. The city clerk’s office and council chambers were along a back corridor. The mayor’s office was tucked into a closet, which included the furnace for the building. “It was so noisy when that unit kicked on, I couldn’t talk on the phone,” Phares said.

Andrew Bottrell / The North Platte Telegraph

The North Platte City Council voted to expand the current City Hall to the west in the 1970s. The expansion added what is now the administrative side of the building. The council agreed to expand the building to the west, creating the current administration and zoning offices. However, at the time, the police department moved into the west end of the building. In 1976, the police and fire department made the move to the Public Safety Building at 715 S. Jeffers, situated between Jeffers

and Dewey streets. The fire department moved from previous location at Vine and Front streets, which was a brick building that still stands today. “It was a good move,” Phares said. “It got [the police and fire departments] in a lot better location. I knew [city administration] could flow into the rest of that space. It

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Andrew Bottrell / The North Platte Telegraph

The Fire and Rescue Department moved into the south side of the Public Safety Building, also known as Fire Station 1, at 715 S. Jeffers in 1976 as they outgrew previous facilities. The department remains in the building today.

solved several problems.” That location was closer to the center of the expanding city. Much of the growth, with the interstate being constructed, was south of Philip Avenue. “It was obvious that the growth was south and southwest,” he said. “It made enormous sense to move southward.” With the expanding city, staff also had to control and develop streets and infrastructure such as sewer and water, and still maintain services for the older parts of the community. Phares said it was also a challenge making sure that the police and fire departments had the proper equipment and manpower to handle the extra load. “Every place you looked, there was a challenge of some sort,” Phares said. “It was an interesting time at City Hall. You didn’t lack for challenges and opportunities. We had a good city council at that time.” Phares credited a number of citizen committees that helped drive the changing landscape, including one that helped build Great Plains Regional Medical Center, and another that helped build the North Platte Recreation Center in

Please see BOOM, Page D3



SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013

At left, this undated photo of the North Platte Police Department, taken by Cliff Kirk, was snapped in front of the city's old police station on the southwest corner of Willow and Eighth streets.


Firsts in the last 50 years The personal computer

Courtesy photo

For a short time in the early 1970s, the North Platte Police Station was where the North Platte Development Department is now housed on the far west end of City Hall. Now, the North Platte Police Department operates out of the the Public Safety Building at 715 S. Jeffers, as seen in the photo at right.

Andrew Bottrell / The North Platte Telegraph

Police force moves with the times Longtime North Platte cops have seen department grow with its city By ANDREW BOTTRELL

On the northeast corner of the Fourth and Vine intersection in North Platte, there is a reminder of police work in the past. A red light, which sometimes comes on, sits below the streetlight. In the 1960s and 1970s, before the police cruisers had full twoway radios, those lights would sig- Police Chief nify to officers if Mike Swain the dispatchers were receiving a call that needed attention. “We would see [the red lights flashing on light poles] and stop at a payphone and call the station,” current Police Chief Mike Swain said. Swain started with the North Platte police force in 1975, a year before the department moved into the Public Safety Building.


Deputy Chief Jim Agler started in 1977. North Platte’s original police station was at the corner of East Eighth Street and Walnut. “At that time it was a police station that had a jail in it, and a courtroom,” Swain said. “It was a beautiful building.” Swain and Agler said that inmates housed at the county jail would wash the police cruisers to Deputy Chief help keep things Jim Agler clean. After that police station closed, the department moved into newly-built City Hall for a few years before the Public Safety Building was ready in 1976 for both the North Platte Fire and Rescue and the police department. “We outgrew City Hall,” Swain said. At the time, the police force was eight to 10 officers. Today the force is 64. That, Swain said, is because of the growth of the community, which in the ’70s began to expand southward with the construction of Interstate 80. “Philip [Avenue] was the edge of town,” he said. “There wasn’t much south of town.” During the 1970s, no restaurants in city limits were open all

comprehensive plan was an important aspect. “We could have discourfrom Page D2 aged a lot of the things 1976. He also noted that that happened and still be the participation from the at 16,000 [people],” he said. community on the initial “I think we did the right

night, which made meals and getting an extra cup of Joe difficult for the night shift. So, Agler said, the officers would go out to Tomahawk Truck Stop by Bailey Yard, which at the time was several miles out of town. “They would let us go out there to eat,” Agler said. The west part of City Hall, which is today the planning and permit portion of the city’s operation, was the police station for several years. Gone was the city jail, as well as the courtroom. It had just one holding cell, which city staff uses for document storage today. “We couldn’t keep anyone there for a long time,” Swain said. Technology has also changed law enforcement, Swain and Agler said. Write-ups of incidents were filed on index cards, and then put in a binder. “Our communication center was the size of this room,” Swain said. “There was a book. If you answered a call, you would come back [to the station] and entered in what happened. That was our system.” The current Public Safety Building was originally one of the city’s hospitals, before the two hospitals consolidated into Great Plains Regional Medical Center at its current location.

things and the right things happened because of it.” Because housing was an issue, Phares said the city started the Autumn Park public housing area on

Shortly after the police moved into the new station, teletype was installed, which could relay messages from town to town on alert bulletins. “Just to send a message from Lincoln to here, that was pretty incredible,” Swain said. Later, the department had manual typewriters and tape recording machines. Swain noted that only the captain and the dispatchers received electric typewriters at first. “We dictated reports on a tape machine,” Agler said. Training regimens have also increased heavily, they said. Training was not as standardized as it is today, and in the 1970s officers were required to train for four to eight weeks. Today, they are trained 16 weeks. “The cops back then, for what they had back then, were damn good,” Swain said. “They taught us very well.” Technology also moves faster. In the 1970s and 1980s, while more and more computer technology was beginning to integrate itself into police work, Swain and Agler said they would have the same system for years at a time. Now, things have changed. “Things are changing on a monthly basis,” Swain said. “What’s working this year is outdated next year.”

East Philip Avenue, but also expanded a scattered low-income housing plan. Both the North Platte Housing Authority and the Lincoln County Community Development Cor-

poration continue those projects today. To combat housing needs a number of other private housing ventures were also built, including Buffalo Bill Manor.

The personal computer (PC), a microcomputer designed to be used by one person, was first developed for business use in the early 1970s. Digital Equipment Corporation developed the PDP-8, which was predominately used in scientific laboratories. The credit for development of a computer for home use goes to Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, college dropouts who founded Apple Computer in 1976. They spent six months working out of a garage, developing the crude prototype for Apple I, which was bought by some 600 hobbyists — who had to know how to wire, program, and set up the machine. The machine’s successor, Apple II, was introduced in 1977 as the first fully assembled, programmable microcomputer, but it still required customers to use their televisions as screens and to use audio cassettes for data storage. It retailed for just less than $1,300. That same year Commodore and Tandy introduced affordable personal computers. In 1984 Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh (Mac), which became the first widely used computer with a graphical user interface (GUI). By this time, International Business Machines (IBM) had introduced its PC (1981), which quickly overtook the Mac, in spite of the fact that IBM was behind in developing a user-friendly graphical interface.

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Firsts in the last 50 years The portable computer (or laptop) The IBM 5100 is the first portable computer, which was released in September 1975. The computer weighed 55 pounds and had a five inch CRT display, tape drive, 1.9MHz PALM processor, and 64KB of RAM. In the picture to the right, is an ad of the IBM 5100 taken from a November 1975 issue of Scientific America. The first truly portable computer or laptop is considered to be the Osborne I, which was released on April 1981 and developed by Adam Osborne. The Osborne I weighed 24.5 pounds, had a 5-inch display, 64 KB of memory, two 5 ¼ inch floppy drives, ran the CP/M 2.2 operating system, included a modem, and cost US$179. The IBM PC Division (PCD) later released the IBM portable in 1984, it's first portable computer that weighed in at 30 pounds. Later in 1986, IBM PCD announced it's first laptop computer, the PC Convertible, weighing 12 pounds. Finally, in 1994, IBM introduced the IBM ThinkPad 775CD, the first notebook with an integrated CD-ROM.

Other major computer company firsts Compaq — In March 1983, Compaq released its first computer and the first 100 percent IBM compatible computer the “Compaq Portable.” Dell — In 1985, Dell introduced its first computer, the “Turbo PC.” Hewlett Packard — In 1966, Hewlett Packard released its first general computer, the “HP-2115.” NEC — In 1958, NEC builds its first computer the “NEAC 1101.” Toshiba — In 1954, Toshiba introduces its first computer, the “TAC” digital computer.


Building a better high school It took 37 years and four bond issues, but in 2000 voters finally OKed a new building By DIANE WETZEL

In 1963, the North Platte High School football team, under the direction of Coach George Crump Redding, was undefeated and delivered a state championship. That year was a tumultuous one for education on the national stage. Think of Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s “segregation now, segregation forever” speech in the school door way at the University of Alabama. In North Platte in 1963, education in town took a step forward when voters approved the largest bond issue in the history of the school district, a whopping $1.98 million to connect the former junior high school to the 1930s high school building. It would be the last time the voters would vote for improvements at the high school for 37 years. During the 1990s, the school district put three different bond issues in front of voters, but all were defeated. “I think the big reason the bond issues failed was because we still owed for the bonds we took out to pay for Adams Middle School,” said former superintendent of schools Paul Brochtrup. Brochtrup was associate superintendent at the time the fourth and final attempt at passing a bond issue was put before the public. “To some it seemed like buying a new car before the old one was paid for.” But something needed to be done. “The infrastructure at the old school was not as solid as people thought,” Brochtrup said. “It was three buildings pieced together and the heat couldn’t be controlled. Some rooms were so hot in the middle of winter they had the windows open.” The sprawling school was three blocks long, with one hall for 1,400 students to pass through. “If you had to travel between the 1950s building and the 1930s building between classes, it was a long walk,” he said. The school was not handicapped accessible, until “we thought we were going to be sued,” he said. The district spent $350,000 on elevators to comply. On April 4, 2000, a new $29 million bond issue passed to build a new high school. “We tried to do things a little differently,” said current high school teacher and former North

Courtesy photo

The old North Platte High School building is seen in this 2003 file photo. The building was torn down after a successful bond issue, paving the way for a new high school building.

Sage Merritt / The North Platte Telegraph

The current North Platte High School building is seen in this recent photo. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the new building’s construction. Platte Public Schools Foundation Director Lori Brouillette, talking about the bond issue that passed. “We tried to involve the community as much as we could. We had public meetings before any designs were done and took their suggestions into account. We really wanted the community to feel this was their building.” Current school board member and former district administration official Jack Price said that the fourth time was the charm because of cost and location.

“We had made a fairly modest proposal in terms of what we could have asked,” he said. “We also agreed to keep it centrally located and not move it out to the edge of town.” James Merritt was superintendent at the time. “It was his responsibility to get the bond issue passed and mine was to build a high school,” Brochtrup said. “He was very good at organizing.” Supporters of the bond issue worked to get the word out to the

community about the importance of a new school. “We tried to keep it personal and positive,” Brouillette said. “We went around to community organizations and talked about how it was a community building project.” This year marks the 10th year of the new school’s operation. “It is really an honor to teach in the school I helped build,” Brouillette said. “I am really honored that the community did this for us and our students.”

The old North Platte High School buidling is seen here in 2003, in the process of being torn down.

Courtesy photo


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NP’s Catholic schools blaze a learning trail St. Pat’s, McDaid play a significant role in city history By DIANE WETZEL

North Platte Catholic Schools have offered an alternative to public education in North Platte since 1891. On Sept. 8 of that year, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kan., opened Nativity Convent School on the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets. Among the first students was Irma Cody, daughter of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Five young women were the first graduates in 1895. One year later, the first boy to graduate was Thomas Jeffers. After several years of fits and starts, Father Patrick McDaid arrived in North Platte in 1910 and with the bishop’s encouragement, the members of St. Patrick’s parish agreed to build a new school. Work on St. Patrick School, later known as McDaid Elementary, was completed in 1916 for a cost of $52,000. The first graduating class from the new school was the Class of 1920. According to school history, from 1916 to the mid-1930s, graduating classes were small, with 5-11 members each. It was during this era that earning a high school education became an expectation, not a rarity for young people. The 1960s was a financially turbulent time for Catholic education in North Platte.

A North Platte Telegraph headline dated Dec. 2, 1969, reads, “Catholic Schools face financial bind; may consider a cutback.” “The prospect of possibly closing part or all of the St. Patrick’s school system should adequate financial support fail is being studied by parish officials here,” the story read. Twenty-two days later, the Telegraph announced, “St. Pat’s school budget approved.” Financial struggles continued into the 1970s. Bill McGahan arrived at St. Patrick school in 1966 to teach music and English. Named principal at the elementary school in 1968, McGahan served as superintendent until his retirement in 2011. In 1975, McGahan told the Telegraph that “this year’s [financial crisis] is real, but not a bit different from the 1969 situation or any previous to that. Every few years we have a gathering of momentum and have to regroup the troops. But there is the wherewithal in the Catholic community of North Platte to support the school system.” That support remains as strong as ever in 2013, McGahan said. “Catholic schools never have an over-abundance of money,” McGahan said during a recent interview. “They have no source of revenue except the generosity of people and the tuition we are able to set.” In 1977, a group of concerned parents decided to do

Diane Wetzel / The North Platte Telegraph

The current St. Patrick High School building, built in 1955, was expanded in 1962. something to help stabilize the funding for the school system. Bill Ramaekers, Ward Lingo, Jim Schneider and Bill McCormick established the North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment-Trust, Inc. The men were “visionaries,” McGahan said. “They decided we needed to do something about finding sustainable funding,” he said. “We would not be here today but for the endowment.” Today the endowment is responsible for generating one-third of the Catholic schools budget. Another third is generated by tuition, and the remaining amount comes from 60 percent of Sunday collections at St. Patrick’s and Holy Spirit churches. “It wasn’t that the other two legs of the funding wouldn’t have continued,” McGahan said. “But we would have had to raise tuition to the point where Please see CATHOLIC, Page D6

North Platte Catholic Schools:

The past 50 years I962: Eight rooms were added to the high school, (built in 1955). The elementary school was remodeled and the junior high program began. 1965: Father Thomas Mullowney became the first fulltime superintendent and the first school board was organized. The 1960s also saw the organization of the Activities Association. In 1966 and 1967 the St. Pat’s Irish had back to back undefeated football seasons. 1973: St. Patrick’s Parish is divided and ground broken on the new Holy Spirit Parish.

1974: Bill McGahan named superintendent of schools. In 1978, the first kindergarten class was enrolled at McDaid Elementary. 2000: Project 2000, a plan to build a new elementary school and competition-size gymnasium, resulted in the opening of the new McDaid Elementary School. The old St. Patrick School/ McDaid Elementary on East Fourth Street will be demolished in the summer of 2013, part of a capital campaign to build a new Family Life Center at St. Patrick’s Church and make improvements to the church and surrounding grounds.


D6 SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013


Firsts in the last 50 years Cell phones On April 3, 1973, from a Manhattan street corner, 6th Ave. between 53rd and 54th, Motorola's Martin Cooper placed the world's first mobile phone call. To his rival, no less. The prototype version that would become the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x weighed 2.5 pounds, had a single-line, textonly LED screen. It would take a decade before Motorola's DynaTAC finally reached consumer hands. On September 21, 1983, Motorola made history when the FCC approved the 8000X, the world's first commercial portable cell phone. It cost consumers a whopping $3,995 at the time.

Digital camera In 1975, Steve Sasson invented the digital camera using a mishmash of lenses, a variety of computer parts, and an old super eight-movie camera. The camera took 23 seconds in order to capture a picture, and then was able to display it onto a television. When Sasson released his invention to the public, it was rejected. People were confused how you would store your digital pictures, and why people would want to see their pictures on television. Sasson tried to argue with consumers, as well as Kodak, saying that digital technology was going to be the direction that photography will head in. Unfortunately, nobody listened, and his invention forgotten for decades. It's strange to think that the company that was responsible for inventing the digital camera, actually fell behind in the technological world because it didn't crossover to digital technology and insisted on using film!

Andrew Bottrell / The North Platte Telegraph

An indoor swimming pool was a primary goal for North Platte as the community constructed the North Platte Recreation Center in 1976. The waterslide was added to the facility in 1994.

37 years of wellness Construction of Recreation Center gave North Platte a place for fitness By ANDREW BOTTRELL

In 1972, a survey helped North Platte recognize a need for an indoor recreational and swimming facility. Mayor Bob Phares formed an 11-member advisory committee to get that accomplished and voters approved the construction of a facility two years later. The North Platte Recreation Center celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2011. Jim Conley Sr. served as the chairman for the advisory committee from 1972-76. “I was a racquetball player, and I didn’t find any facility for that. Obviously, we didn’t have any indoor swimming facilities either,” he said. “The swimming pool was the main crux of that. We’ve got kind of an unusual situation there with the dome. That is so open, that’s a beautiful place.” The committee determined that an indoor gym for basketball and other activities was a need, as were racquetball courts and an indoor pool. A weight

room was also part of the initial plan. “We thought the need was there,” Conley said. “I spent a lot of hours with a description and a show board, and I talked to every PTA and a lot of people around the community about the advantages of this.” In February 1974, the committee recommended that the city move ahead with a bond initiative and the North Platte City Council approved the ballot issue on April 2. On May 14, 1974, the measure passed by a 2-1 margin. Construction costs for the facility were $948,000, $665,000 of which came from a federal grant and the remaining $283,000 from the bond issue approved in May 1974. The center officially opened on April 3, 1976. The swimming pool was renovated in 1986, and in 1989 citizens used the facility for more than 200,000 hours. User hours peaked in 1996 with 320,000 hours for the year. Newburn funds contributed a whirlpool, a new gym floor, a new meeting room floor and a new exercise room in the 1990s. A sauna was added in 1991, and in 1994 the 117-foot waterslide was added to the swimming pool. In the 2000s, a dance room was added and the weight room was extended. “The city has been blessed. I hear that over and over,” Conley

Andrew Bottrell / The North Platte Telegraph

The North Platte Recreation Center’s signature dome over the swimming facility was completed in 1976, after the community recognized the need in a survey in 1972. said. “I’ve had a number of people voice their approval of the place and how lucky we are, from people out of town who come here. Especially newcomers to the city.” Daily fees when the Rec Center was built were $1 per day for adults, $2 per day for a family

and $0.50 for children, while family memberships were $40 for six months and single adult memberships were $20. Today, a day pass for an adult is $5.50, $3.50 for youth under 18 and $15 for a family. Six-month memberships for families are $257 and $118 for single adults.

CATHOLIC from Page D5

people couldn’t afford it. One of our standing expectations is that anyone who could not afford tuition would not be turned away.” The endowment’s portion of the general operating budget has been between $600,000 and $700,000 for the past three years, said endowment director Wendy Dodson. “This is an incredible amount of money to raise in one year,” she said. “It is solely the endowment’s commitment to the school budget, keeping the lights on, paying the teachers. Anything extra has to come on top of that initial total. That is why we conduct an annual fund appeal every year, to hopefully meet that base goal and then do many other events and activities of top of that.” The continued success of Catholic education in North Platte comes from a strong and deep commitment from the people of the St. Patrick’s and Holy Spirit parishes, McGahan said. Enrollment in the Catholic school system has remained steady at around 425 in recent years.

“In the mid-1970s, we had more than 600 kids,” McGahan said. “We don’t have as many as we did. But we do have as many or more families sending their kids to our school.” In today’s world, families are smaller, he said. Instead of six or seven members of a family, there are two or maybe three. “I don’t have anything against public schools,” McGahan said. “But there are some issues that are significant. There is no provision in public schools for any kind of faith examination or examination of religious traditions. Obviously those are falling by the wayside in our country. We are basically nondiscriminatory. We accept children from every faith. And we respond to parents’ needs. “Parent need is the other leg of why we are important. They send their children here simply for the discipline we provide, discipline that is not possible for public schools because of various civil rights. We do not ignore student’s civil rights, but we do have some structure and expectations they have to live up to. I think that’s important, so they learn. The world requires a little personal discipline.”



SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013


A place to play (and a way to generate power) By STEVE WILSON

With origins dating back to the time of the Great Depression, Lake Maloney State Park remains a key attraction for the North Platte area, as well as an important component of the local ecosystem. According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website, Lake Maloney Dam was constructed in 1935 and holds 7.09 billion gallons of water. With a circumference of 9 miles, and covering 1,650 acres, the main purpose of Lake Maloney is to regulate the flow of water for generating electricity at the hydro facility. The lake is 44 feet deep at its maximum point. Located approximately 5 miles south of North Platte, the lake was built by rancher/farmer civil engineer Charles H. Morrill, who called is his professional pride. It was named after William R. Maloney, an undertaker, civic leader and original director, organizer and vice-president of the Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District. “Water from the North Platte and South Platte rivers is diverted by dams, stored in the reservoirs and released to serve the needs for NPPD’s electric and irrigation customers,” said Nebraska Public Power District spokesman Mark Becker. “In the late 1970’s, NPPD built Gerald Gentleman Station at

Sutherland Reservoir, where there is a source of water for use in the generation of electricity [steam drives the turbines that create the electricity] and began operation of the facility in the early 1980s. Canal water return and seepage enhance stream flows, assist wetlands and recharge the Ogallala aquifer. The hydropower system provides habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for people, including the use of Lake Maloney for recreation.” NPPD began leasing land to cabin dwellers in the 1950s. At that time, they issued 99-year leases. There are currently 15 homeowners that still have a 99-year lease. The campground has 132 acres. Facilities include 56 camping pads with 30-amp hookups, as well as 200 non-pad sites without electricity, shower facility, dump station, water, boat ramps, swimming beach, picnic tables, grills and fish cleaning station.

Camping is offered on a first-come, first-serve. The Lake Maloney Golf Club is another key attraction. “It was founded in 1958 as a nine-hole sand green course — when it went to 18 holes no one seems to know or remember, some say in or around 1961,” said General Manager Ron Newton. “The front nine holes was converted to grass in 1991 and the back nine holes in 1992.” For more information visit gov/parks/guides/parksearch/showpark.asp?Are a_No112.

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Lake Maloney, pictured above, offers a wealth of recreation opportunities, including boating, swimming, camping and fishing. Lake Maloney Golf Course, pictured at left, offers 18 holes of golf just adjacent to the lake. Photos by Sage Merritt / The North Platte Telegraph


D8 SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013


1963-2013: An eventful 50 years By DIANE WETZEL

The last 50 years have been incredibly eventful, both in North Platte and around the world. In 1963, gas was 21 cents a gallon, and the average income was $5,807. A loaf of bread was 22 cents, and the lava lamp was invented. Inflation was 1.7 percent and the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent nationwide. A first class stamp was 4 cents, and a gallon of milk cost 49 cents. President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, and Alcatraz penitentiary closed. Members of the Klu Klux Klan bombed a Baptist church in Birmingham, killing four young girls. The first state lottery begans in New Hampshire, and Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. The Beatles released their first album and State Mutual Life Insurance invented the “smiley face.” By 1973, Richard Nixon was president and the cost of a first class stamp had doubled to 8 cents. Gas was 39 cents a gallon, and the average income had almost doubled to $10,512. Inflation was 7.6 percent and a gallon of milk was $1.31. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe vs. Wade and the World

Trade Center in New York became the tallest building in the world. Watergate hearings begin in Washington, D.C., and Nixon told the world, “I am not a crook.” Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in “the battle of the sexes” tennis match and more than 1 billion television watchers around the world saw Elvis Presley’s “Aloha from Hawaii” television special. In 1983, Ronald Reagan was president and unemployment was 9.7 percent. A stamp cost 20 cents, and gasoline was $1.24 a gallon. Inflation was 7.6 percent, and the average income was $20,885. A gallon of milk was $2.24. Unemployment was the highest it had been since 1941, with 12 million out of work. Motorola Company introduced the first mobile phones. Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space on the space shuttle Challenger. President Reagan proposed the Star Wars defense program and Margaret Thatcher won a landslide victory in Great Britain. Microsoft Word was introduced. The final episode of “M*A*S*H” aired with an audience of 125 million. Cabbage Patch dolls arrived. Bill Clinton was president in

The Associated Press

Five of the seven U.S. presidents from the last 50 years gathered together recently for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on April 25 in Dallas. Pictured are President Barack Obama and former presidents, from second from left, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. 1993, and unemployment in the United States was 7.5 percent. Inflation was 2.9 percent. A stamp cost 29 cents and a gallon of gas averaged $1.11. The average household income was $31,241, and a gallon of milk was $2.86. Intel introduced the Pentium processor and Beanie Babies became popular. The Brady Bill, requiring background checks for purchasers of handguns, was signed into law. Islamic fundamentalists bombed the World Trade Center in New York. Federal agents

raided a compound in Waco, Texas. The North American Free Trade Agreement was signed into law. Two former police officers are convicted of violating the civil rights of Rodney King. The U.S. dropped the Star Wars initiative. The World Wide Web was born and the World Health Organization estimated that 14 million people worldwide were infected with the AIDS virus. In 2003, George W. Bush was president and a gallon of gas cost $1.83. The average income was $45,016.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially began operations, and the U.S. planned to invade Iraq because of a threat from weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, was captured in Tikrit. A major weather outbreak created more tornados in any one week in U.S. history. Lance Armstrong won his fifth Tour de France title. The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry, killing all seven people onboard. Arnold Swartzenegger was elected governor of California. Apple launched iTunes. A white tiger attacked Roy Horn of “Siegfried and Roy.” In 2013, Barack Obama was inaugurated for a second term as president. Alabama beat Notre Dame in the BCS Championship. Two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring many. During a shootout, one suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed. The other suspect, his brother Dzhokhar, 19, remains at large, triggering a massice manhunt. He was captured alive but seriously injured hiding in a boat in a house in Watertown. A fertilizer plant in West, Texas, exploded, killing 12 and injuring around 200 others.

Our Town 2013 part 1  

Publication dedicated to the history, businesses, and events of North Platte, NE.

Our Town 2013 part 1  

Publication dedicated to the history, businesses, and events of North Platte, NE.