Joplin was filled with soldiers during World War II, thanks to trains that easily brought troops from Camp Crowder, the largest Armytraining base inside the  United States.  Soldiers from all areas of the nation visited Joplin regularly and remembered it for decades after the war. 

In the early 1960s, this era was highlighted on The Dick Van Dyke Show when character Rob Petrie recalled his Army days.

The show’s chief writer and producer, actor-comedian Carl Reiner really had spent part of his World War II days in Joplin, a fact that recalled in several flashback episodes of the hit TV program.