League staff swam through boxes of archived files, knickknacks, and photos to write a story that has been a century in the making. The result is the Celebrating 100 Years centennial keepsake booklet. Each author dug deeper and found the personal tales behind topics, including the League’s split from the University of Minnesota, the biographies of our executive directors (movers and shakers!), the pioneering formation of the insurance trust, and the founding cities (listed at the bottom of this post).
What would a centennial be without a celebration? On June 19, hundreds of civic leaders past and present gathered at the Union Depot in St. Paul to kick off the annual conference. Besides breaking bread together and listening to special guest speaker Garrison Keillor, everyone also gathered to make a little piece of history and re-create a photo that was taken at the League’s original annual conference.
Centennial GardenLeague staffers don’t take for granted the LMC building or the surrounding neighborhood in St. Paul where we are lucky enough to work. To give back centennial-style, League staff partnered with the Blooming St. Paul program to dig out an overgrown garden at a local rec center and replant it with hardy perennials to provide a scenic spot for neighborhood kids—you know, the leaders of the future.
Speaking of those future leaders … dozens and dozens of students (age 7-12) submitted handwritten essays about what they would do if they were mayor of their cities for a day (including helping senior citizens, installing new sidewalks, and cleaning up parks). Rest assured, the future of our cities is in good hands—watch for the winning entries in the Jan.-Feb. 2014 issue of Minnesota Cities magazine!
A Day of Our Own
To help mark LMC’s 100th year, Gov. Dayton declared Oct. 11, 2013 Minnesota Cities Day! His office signed a special proclamation that read, in part: The League of Minnesota Cities will use the occasion of its centennial anniversary to appreciate the rich history of local government in Minnesota, recognize the valuable contributions made by cities to local communities throughout the state, and reaffirm its vision for the future. We're thrilled he recognized the hard work and dedication of our member cities—thank you, Governor!
There there’s the matter of this little blog you’re reading right this moment. We’ve spent the year digging up gems from the history of the League and Minnesota cities, and had some fun doing it! A few of our favorite posts include a historic brush with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, talking with public works staff about the Halloween Blizzard of ’91, and learning about women's roles in the League over the years. We hope you’ve enjoyed all of this as much as we have!