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Where Did Mary Richards Toss Her Hat?
By Marisa Helms, Minnesota Public Radio
March 30, 2001

Although it's one of the most recognizable scenes in television, nobody seems to know exactly where in downtown Minneapolis Mary Tyler Moore was standing when she tossed her hat into the air. We sent our intrepid reporter, Marisa Helms, out to try to find out.

MPR's Marisa Helms on Nicollet Mall, preparing for the "hat toss." She's standing between 7th and 8th Streets.See a slide show of Marisa's search for the exact spot where the toss occurred.
(Photo by Christine Rosholt)
Just where was Mary Richards standing when she tossed her hat into the air? Nobody seems to remember. TV Land contacted producers of the show, and even the star - and executive producer - Mary Tyler Moore. But no luck. Maybe that's because the show's ties to Minneapolis are very tenuous. After all, it was a Hollywood thing. The show ran from 1970 to 1977, and each episode was filmed on a set in Los Angeles. The opening sequence is merely a small sliver of connection, yet it looms large in the hearts of many a Minneapolitan.

Those weighing in on the location debate mostly agree it was somewhere on Nicollet Mall. But Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Noel Holston says he was contacted by a woman claiming to be the daughter of a mail carrier, who appeared in the opening sequence. The daughter insists Mary Tyler Moore tossed her hat in front of the Plymouth Building at 6th and Hennepin Ave.

But few people give her assertion much credence. The location is on Nicollet Mall, they say, either at 5th and Nicollet, 7th and Nicollet or 8th and Nicollet.

Well, my friends, worry and wonder no more. The definitive answer can be had! Rodney Homstad is a retired Minneapolis police officer, who says he escorted Mary Tyler Moore and crew around the city for two long days while they shot the opening scene montage. He says the answer is: 7th and Nicollet.