Saturday, December 27, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 27

December 27, 1960 – “RB Tommy Mason of Tulane was taken with the 1st overall choice and the first-ever draft pick utilized by the Vikings. Also selected that year were QB Fran Tarkenton (3rd round) and DB Ed Sharockman (5th round).”

Fran Tarkenton

Friday, December 26, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 26

December 26, 1914 – Actor Richard Widmark was born in Sunrise Township, Minn., on this date. “Widmark was one of the movies' all-time great tough guys.”

Richard Widmark's Birthsite, "Hollywood Legend!"

In the summer of 1914, Carl and Ethel Mae left Braham, MN to take clerk jobs at Elias Nordgren's Mercantile Store. It was here on December 26, at 12:26 AM, Carl ran over to the neighboring house and announced to Harry Wolleat, they had a son named Richard Weedt Widmark. He would go on to movie stardom, starring in such films as: 1947's "Kiss of Death" playing the infamous Tommy Udo, "Don't Bother to Knock", with Marilyn Monroe in 1952, and "The Alamo" with John Wayne in 1960. From 1947-1991 he made 74 films and in 1949 his hand prints were cemented in the Hollywood Walk of Fame to solidify his legacy permanently. He passed away on 3-24-08 at the age of 93 in Roxbury, CT.

This historical marker is located in Sunrise, Minnesota, marking the place where Richard Widmark was born.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 25

December 25, 1805The area that would become Brainerd was first seen by white men on Christmas Day, 1805. LT. Zebulon Pike, U.S. Army, camped in the area for a day of rest and relaxation while exploring the source of the Mississippi River.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 24

December 24, 1898 – A well-dressed, respectable looking young woman, giving the name of Mrs. May Smith, was locked up at the Minneapolis central police station today on the charge of shoplifting. She is accused of stealing several books of poems from the St. Paul Book and Stationery Company. It is alleged that the woman was caught taking the books by a clerk.

The prisoner declined to give any information about herself other than that she lived in Minneapolis and was married.

Detective Werrick and Mr. Holcomb, the manager of the Book and Stationery company, went to Minneapolis this evening and recovered 15 books valued at $14.50 in the prisoner’s room on Fourth Ave. S. Detective Werrick says Holcomb identified the books as property of his firm.  Forty-five other books were found in the woman’s room, but couldn’t be positively identified tonight. Their value is estimated at $135. In searching the room, Warrick says $159 worth of silks and other articles believed to have also been stolen were found.  All of the property, except the 15 books identified by Holcomb, was taken in charge by Minneapolis authorities.

Warrick says the prisoner’s real name is Mrs. L. E. Brown. She is said to be a member of a prominent Minneapolis Episcopal church. Many of the books recovered were prayer books, hymnals and Bibles.

St. Paul Globe; “Stolen Hymn Books. Detectives Found Religious Works in a Minneapolis Woman’s Room.”; Dec. 25, 1898; p. 5.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 23

December 23, 1921 – Emma F. (Gruetzke) Brunson became one of the first women architects in Minnesota on this date when she registered with the state in response to a Minnesota law requiring registration for architects and engineers. “Nothing is known of her education or training, but she worked as a drafter and specifications writer with Augustus F. Gauger for 15 years before establishing her own office. She continued to operate a one-person practice until her retirement in 1968. Most of her commissions were for dwellings.”1

One of the homes she designed was for St. Paul dentist Dr. Wilton B. Stone, Morton and Delaware Streets in St. Paul.2



Homes Emma F. Brunson designed was for St. Paul dentist
Dr. Wilton B. Stone

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 23, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Monday, December 22, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 22

December 22, 2006 – President George W. Bush awarded Vadnais Heights native Sgt. John Kriesel the Purple Heart while Kriesel was recovering from injuries suffered in Operation Iraqi Freedom at Walter Reed Medical Center. Kriesel lost both of his legs “after a couple hundred pounds of explosives blew his Humvee off a dirt road in Iraq.”1


Sunday, December 21, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 21

December 21, 1940 – Minnesota native and author F. Scott Fitzgerald died of a massive heart attack in Los Angeles, Calif., on this date.  He was 44 years old.

F. Scott Fitzgerald