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Christmas celebration with returning World War II Veterans, Williston, N.D.
Christmas celebration with returning World War II Veterans, Williston, N.D.
TitleChristmas celebration with returning World War II Veterans, Williston, N.D.
Date of Original1945-12
DescriptionIt was on the Christmas-New Year's week, 56 years ago, when 3, 200 World War II soldiers, sailors, Marines, and Airman (plus a few WACS [The Women's Army Corps.] and SPARS [United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve]), on their war's-end journey, were entertained in one day during quick visits to the Williston Servicemen's Canteen at the Great Northern Depot. Legion hostesses in the photo were Mrs. Wesley Smith, Sylvia Penman and Shirley Wilder. Unfortunately, no one thought to recored the names of the soldiers.
General SubjectMilitary
City & town life
Subject (LCTGM)Holidays
Military parades & ceremonies
Military officers
Military personnel
Military uniforms
Marines (Military personnel)
Military air pilots
Subject (LCSH)World War, 1939-1945
Personal NamePenman, Sylvia
Wilder, Shirley
Organization NameGreat Northern Railway Company (U.S.)
American Legion
American Legion Auxillary
LocationWilliston (N.D.)
Item Number1-19-61-1
Format of OriginalPhotographic prints
Dimensions of Original8 x 10 in.
Publisher of OriginalThe Williston Daily Herald
Place of PublicationWilliston, N.D.
Transcription"Most enjoyable event Dec. 31, 2001 Best Little Stories Shemorry Disregard writing on back of photo"--Handwritten on paper taped to back of photograph
"#1 Servicemen's Canteen Christmas Day 1945 Photos from Bill Shemorry files"--Handwritten on back of print
NotesTitle created by staff.
Biography/HistoryWilliam E. "Bill" Shemorry was a native of Williston, N.D. who began work in the newspaper industry as a newsboy selling the Williston Herald and the Williams County Farmers Press. In 1953, he started to publish the Williston Plains Reporter, which he operated for 25 years before selling to the Williston Herald. Shemorry then began to concentrate on his own writing and photography. In addition to writing many books on the history of Williams County, he also collected photographs of early North Dakota photographers. Shemorry was an active member of the Williston Fire Department, was Civil Defense Chief of Williams County for three years in the 1950's, and was a combat photographer in World War II. Shemorry's photograph of the discovery of oil in North Dakota on April 4, 1951 at the Clarence Iverson No. 1 is one of the most famous oil photographs ever taken, and was published in many national publications.
Bibliographic ReferenceThe quoted description is from Shemorry's caption that was published with the photograph in "Some Called it 'the Most Enjoyable Event in the History of Williston'" in the Williston Daily Herald, 2001-12-31, p. 1A. This photograph appeared in a series entitled "The Best Little Stories of the 20th Century" series in the Herald.
Repository InstitutionState Historical Society of North Dakota
Repository CollectionWilliam E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection Mss 10958
Credit LineState Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection (1-19-61-1)
Rights ManagementPermission to reproduce this image must be requested from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Ordering InformationTo order a reproduction, inquire about the collection, or provide information about an image, please email Emily E. Schultz at
Digital IDws119611
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