1868: A silly story has been started by the New York Express, to the effect that Gen. George McClellan will be offered the Secretaryship of War by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, our newly elected president. If Gen. Grant wished to commence his administration by disgusting two thirds of the men who elected him, this would be the most effectual means. Grant’s “admiration of McClellan” is certainly a new idea, and creditable to the imaginative powers of the Express.

Daily Tribune, Dec. 24


1870: We have at last got winter, all but the snow. The thermometer marks 20 below zero in the morning, and yields grudgingly to the warmth of the sun. People walk the streets as if they were on very urgent business, and the horses, when not in motion, protest with every hair on their bodies that it is cold. Every man is looking earnestly for snow — and lots of fair maidens are impatiently waiting for that first sleigh-ride.

Daily Tribune, Dec. 24

1876: The London Economist remarks upon the disputed presidential election in this country, saying neither candidate has warned his followers against illegal practices. That journal doesn’t seem to understand that with us the dishonesty is always on the other side. The Globe-Democrat denounces talk of compromise, saying the recognition of either Rutherford B. Hayes or Samuel Tilden as president is a small matter. The mass of the Republican party, however, will not regret any compromise which places Hayes in the White House.

A widow residing on Marshall Street, east Minneapolis, complains bitterly of the ill-treatment she receives at the hands of the male portion of the community. This lady, who is striving to earn an honest living, is subjected to all sorts of insults. It is a disgrace to a civilized country that such men cannot be learned a few lessons in common decency.

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 22


The disgust and mortification imposed upon every respectable American by the proceedings in the trial of President Garfield’s assassin, Guiteau, are not the worst feature of the hideous affair. What will be the effect upon the criminal classes of this spectacle of a vile murderer making a circus of the courtroom? If Guiteau may indulge in this shameless audacity, what may not the felons coming after him venture?

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 24


Col. William Jennings Bryan returned to Nebraska yesterday from his military assignment in Florida. Gov. Holcomb welcomed him home and complimented him on his patriotism in enlisting in the army with the war against Spain raging.

“I am as much interested in the people of the United States as I am in the people of Cuba,” Bryan said. “The American people have not accepted the gold standard as final. It has wrought more injustice in our country than Spain has wrought in all her colonies. The trusts are a greater menace to the country’s welfare than any foreign foe.”

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 24


It is highly creditable to the capacity for self-government of the people of Minneapolis that they have been able to get along so well during their whole history under a system of municipal anarchy. There is earnest but futile discussion of the problem of how to compel citizens to clean their sidewalks. There is futile but earnest discussion over the problem of effective street sprinkling. The disorderly manner in which streets are cleaned is an ever present scandal.

Sunday Tribune, Dec. 24


Bearing the unmistakable marks of tuberculosis, the ‘white plague,’ ten children assembled at Associated Charities yesterday for what was probably the most pathetic Christmas celebration in the city. It was at once pleasing and pitiful to see the wan cheeks flush and the dull eyes grow bright and hear the thin laughter from wasted lungs.

Little 7-year-old Victoria, all her pain-darkened life, has longed for a doll. Every day she used to go to the little girl next door and beg the loan of a much-battered doll. When the time was up she would wrap it in its shabby little cloak and with quivering mouth return it to its owner. When she found that on the tree was a doll which would be her very own, she wept for joy.

Minneapolis Journal, Dec. 24


Plans were completed yesterday by the Civic & Commerce association for carrying out its campaign against soot in Minneapolis by means of its “smoke prevention week” program. A Chicago smoke expert will be one of the prominent speakers.


Minnesota and the Twin Cities are learning rapidly where the lines should be drawn between loyalty and disloyalty. Citizens are being convicted of doing or saying that which tends to hinder the government in its righteous war project. The 100-percent patriot is not in the slightest danger of his liberties. The below-par citizen may be quite sure somebody is keeping vigilant eyes on him.

Morning Tribune, Dec. 24


Mr. William Howard Taft’s denunciation of the anti-Semitic matter which Henry Ford has recently been circulating in his Dearborn Independent will win the approval of every straight thinking American. “One of the chief causes of suffering in the world today,” declared Mr. Taft, “is race hatred, and anyone who stimulates that hatred has much to answer for.”

In his own mechanical field, Mr. Ford is a wizard. He would do himself — and the rest of the world — an excellent service by confining himself to his knitting.

Morning Tribune, Dec. 24


Minneapolis and St. Paul labor circles had a real Christmas joy-fest today over the release from prison of socialist Eugene V. Debs.

Leslie Sinton, secretary of the Minneapolis Trades and Labor Assembly, said “President Warren G. Harding giving Debs his freedom for Christmas is practically the only step that has been made toward restoring the freedom of speech in America, which was so shamefully trampled during the war.”

Minnesota Daily Star, Dec. 24


Why should Minneapolis not be represented in the contest for the most beautiful bathing girl? Minneapolis is a city of bathers, and with a wide range of nationalities to chose from, many of which are famous for beauty, we ought to give other cities of the United States a run for their money in a contest for beautiful bathing girls.

Minneapolis Daily Star, Dec. 25


August Vollmer, criminology expert, points out that policemen standing on a corner might just as well be sitting before their own firesides. Vollmer proposes to motorize the department. He would have automobiles, equipped with radio receiving sets, ready at an instant’s notice to go to the scene of a crime. The sooner this suggestion is adopted, the quicker the lawless element may give Minneapolis a wider berth.

Minneapolis Star, Dec. 24



The lights of a gaily decorated Christmas tree will shine tomorrow night through the window in which Tom Dorsey, widower, cobbler and student of the philosophers, hung up last week the sign:



The sign was a last resort for Dorsey after the task of washing, cooking and sewing for his motherless flock had eaten into his time for work so much that returns were slim.

After the seven little ones had gone to homes where Santa was scheduled to call, their aunt arrived with the tree and arms filled with packages. So they will be home Christmas Day. And Tom Dorsey, who can quote at length the philosophers whose works he reads while he labors at his bench, will smile through the tears.

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 24



– President Roosevelt restored citizenship to 1,500 persons convicted of publicly opposing United States participation in the world war or evading the draft in a Christmas proclamation.

The President’s statement said: “During the world war, a large number of persons were convicted of giving utterance to sentiments adverse to prosecution of the war. They have paid the penalty. The emergency has long expired. Accordingly, I have issued a Christmas amnesty.”

Sunday Tribune, Dec. 24


Never were legislators more relieved than the Minnesota lot when they adjourned over the weekend. This business of trying to legislate hard liquor comfortably back into the life of the state has proved to be just about the hardest thing they have ever undertaken. The issues have the unhappy faculty of mixing up sentiment and economic determinism in a simply horrid way.

Minneapolis Star, Dec. 23


The American Federation of Labor is discouraged over the tenacious resistance the unemployment problem is offering to all attempts at solving it. The AFL’s statement is tantamount to an admission of failure for the elaborate recovery mechanism contrived by the New Deal administration. With all our codes, experiments, restrictions and alphabetical agencies in full operation, the federation is still dissatisfied with the progress made.

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 24


There’s no use fooling ourselves, Santa. Your spirit is not in possession of the earth today. Another spirit has been stalking the globe, not riding over houses loaded with presents, but flying over houses loaded with bombs. This spirit is not jolly. It is grim and cruel. It thrives on the firing squad and the secret police.

Not in centuries has all you symbolize been in such dire straits as on this particular Christmas. But we are NOT going to let this malignant spirit conquer the earth and drive you out of the souls of men. We are girding ourselves for an effort as great as any in the whole course of history. We know that the cost will be heavy. We know that bitter hours lie ahead. But we will not fail.

William J. McNally, Morning Tribune, Dec. 24



The finest gift Santa Claus could give to the American people would be to end the war and bring home sons, daughters, husbands and sweethearts. That’s the verdict in a special Christmas poll. Field reporters asked: “What present would you most like for Christmas?” Far and away most replied like this: “Bring the boys back home ...”

But a Seattle field reporter got this wish from a man who sells papers on the street corner: “I’d just like a nice place to live and a woman who likes me.” The greatest shock came from a midwestern reporter. An elderly woman thought for a moment, smiled and said: “You know, young man, I’ve got just about everything I want.”

George Gallup, Sunday Tribune, Dec. 24


Chinese communist probing attacks along parallel 38 tonight heralded the second Red invasion of South Korea. Allied defenders waited tensely for an all-out offensive that would touch off a Red Christmas.

Minneapolis Star, Dec. 23


If Joseph and Mary tried to journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem this year, as they did before that first Christmas nearly 2,000 years ago, they would be turned back. For today Nazareth is on Israel’s side of the United Nations truce line, and Bethlehem is in Arab territory. Between stretches a gaping no-man’s land of ruined desolation, rusted barbed wire, concrete fortification, neglected minefields, and the rubble of bombed houses.

Minneapolis Star, Dec. 24


During the first six days after his return to the United States following his eight-hour interview with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, D-Minn. — who wouldn’t mind being president — made five public speeches and appeared on four network radio-TV programs. The Khruschev talk-a-thon has projected Humphrey into the minds of the American people.

Roscoe Drummond, Minneapolis Star, Dec. 24


Communist Tommy gun fire and the agonized scream of an East German attempting to flee to the West broke the Christmas peace on the Berlin Wall Monday. While smiling East German guards admitted West Berliners through the wall for brief holiday reunions with loved ones, one East Berliner tried to claw his way through three layers of barbed wire. Then came the shots and a scream. It was the first reported shooting in five days.


Five Harvard University students have been suspended because of a noisy party, the Boston Globe reported. The party got out of hand and some girls’ dresses were torn. The incident follows controversy between university officials and students over new rules under which girls are allowed to visit men’s dormitories several hours each week.

Morning Tribune, Dec. 24


Washington this Christmas is solemn but calm, like a man who has survived some dreadful experience and is thus a little more inclined to count his blessings. The war in Vietnam is not going as well as officials pretend, but the energy of this big rangy American in the White House [Lyndon Johnson] has reassured the nation.

James Reston, Morning Tribune, Dec. 24


Apollo 8 was scheduled to swing around the moon early today, orbiting for 20 hours, ending after midnight Christmas morning. For the first time since men began looking at the heavens, three of them cut themselves loose from earth Monday afternoon. Their second television show gave earth-bound viewers their first view of their planet from nearly 200,000 miles away.

Frank Borman, the ship’s commander, made it clear the crew was aware of the dangers of the mission. “I hope that you have got everybody looking this thing over very carefully,” he told the ground crew yesterday.

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 24


Where do we stand at the end of this agonizing year? The young men die in Vietnam, while the old men wrangle — that is the depressing fact — but the turn away from violence has been made. It may take a long time. But even at home we may have made the turn — without quite knowing it — toward reconciliation. The American people have drifted far enough out into dangerous waters in this last year to glimpse the terrible consequences of division.

James Reston, Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 24


Thousands of poor people in northern California shared in 168,000 pounds of surplus federal cheese on Christmas Eve. The cheese is part of 30 million pounds that President Ronald Reagan ordered donated to the poor nationwide, following appeals to “free the cheese” throughout the country.

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 25


Just as the baby boomers’ numbers overwhelmed schools, planners say the wave of the aging will place unprecedented demands on services for the elderly in the next century. Nearly 36 percent of Twin Citians are in this dominant group born shortly after World War II. Now primarily in their 20s and 30s, they give the region a young face. But in the next several decades, they will grow old.

Minneapolis Star and Tribune, Dec. 24