Dakota Datebook

Mystery Guest

Sunday, December 14, 2008

 

In 1914, a 23-part silent serial film called “The Million Dollar Mystery” played at theaters across the country. It told a story about a secret society trying to gain a missing fortune for their own. The film was a big success in theaters, and many newspapers across the state chronicled the plot for their readers.

On this date in 1914, movie-goers in Devils Lake got the surprise of their evening when their own Gov. John Burke, who was currently the U.S. Treasurer, popped up in the twenty-first chapter. No one knew he would be in the movie, and when he appeared, everyone in the theater burst into raucous applause.

Word of Burke’s show-stopping appearance spread quickly, promising packed movie houses in the days ahead. It was yet another shining moment in the life of honest John.

By Sarah Walker

Sources:
Dec. 15, 1914, Devils Lake Journal, Thursday Evening
Allmovie.com, “The Million Dollar Mystery,” http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:153348
IMDB.com, “The Million Dollar Mystery,” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0004336/

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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