Monday, February 18, 2013

In Honor of Presidents Day: JFK & LMC

File this in the “treasure” category. Once upon a time in the mid-1980s, some League staff members were cleaning out old filing cabinets in the office. A thankless job for sure, until one of the administrative assistants stumbled across this letter (shown above) from Senator John F. Kennedy.

In the letter, JFK invites League Director Orville Peterson to an urban renewal conference in Pittsburgh that fall of 1960.

But beyond the mere existence of this letter from our then soon-to-be-elected 35th President of the United States, we have a few unanswered questions.

Why was Orville invited to the conference? Was it because of the Minnesota League’s affiliation with the National League of Cities? Was it just a generic invitation to state municipal league directors? Or was it somehow politically motivated since the federal election was that same year? Finally, did Orville actually attend the conference, and—if so—did he have the chance to meet JFK?

None of us currently at the League of Minnesota Cities knows any of these answers for certain—but we are immensely grateful to whomever saved this piece of history for all of us to enjoy.

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