February 1, 1950: Sidney Buchman Day in Duluth 

This day in Duluth in 1951 was named Sidney Buchman Day in honor of—who else?—Duluth-native Sidney Buchman, a Hollywood screen writer and later executive at Columbia Pictures. According to biographer David Ouse, Buchman’s first job in Hollywood was working on Cecil B. DeMille’s Sign of the Cross (1932) and he went on to write nearly 40 screenplays including She Married Her Boss (1935), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and his best-known work, Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington starring Jimmy Stewart (1939). Festivities in Duluth on the first day of February 1950 included a speech to the Chamber of Commerce, a convocation at Duluth Central High School, a reception and dinner at the Athletic Club, and a first day’s showing of Buchman’s latest film, Jolson Sings Again, at the Granada Theater. In his speech to the Chamber, according to the Duluth News Tribune, Buchman predicted that “in perhaps a quarter-century, the finest films will be available for a dime or a quarter to persons in their own living rooms. They will need only to call the telephone operator to switch on a certain television channel on which the film is being carried.” At the Central convocation, Buchman expressed special thanks to his English teacher, Miss Mira Southworth. (Southworth is the namesake of Mira M. Southworth Lake Superior Wetlands Preserve on Minnesota Point.) There is much more to Buchman’s life, and you can read about it here.

Sidney Buchman. (Image: Public Domain)