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).”
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.”
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,
This historical marker is
located in Sunrise, Minnesota, marking the place where Richard Widmark was
December 25, 1805 - The 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.
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
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.
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
One of the homes she designed was for St. Paul dentist Dr. Wilton B. Stone, Morton
and Delaware Streets in St. Paul.2
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