Thursday, March 24, 2011

History Tidbit - Kinney, Minnesota

In 1977, Kinney, Minnesota, was facing a dilemma. Its water system was failing rapidly, and the money to foot the $186,000 replacement bill was nowhere to be found. City officials tried again and again and again to apply for help from all kinds of government organizations but with no luck and no funding. Finally, in a bout of major frustration, the folks in Kinney decided that they would be more likely to get the funding they needed through foreign aid, so they drafted the following letter to U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance:

July 13, 1977

BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Kinney, in Kinney, Minnesota, has decided to secede from the United States of America, and become a foreign country. Our area is large enough for it. We are twelve square blocks, three blocks wide and four blocks long. We will be similar to Monaco. It is much easier to get assistance as a foreign country, which we need badly, and there is no paper work to worry about. If necessary, we will be glad to declare war and lose. However, if this is a requirement, we would appreciate being able to surrender real quick, as our Mayor works as a nurse in a hospital, and most of our council members work in a nearby mine and cannot get much time off from work.


Granted, this letter was meant to be more humorous than serious, but the officials of Kinney did have a point to make about government neglect of small town needs.

The new Republic of Kinney received only a nominal amount of "foreign aid," namely, a nice, shiny new police car and ten cases of pizza mix from a Duluth business man, but apparently the townspeople had gotten their point across to powers that be. In November of the following year, Kinney received a grant of $198,000 to repair its water system and take care of a few other necessary projects, and its residents will always have a great story to pass on to their descendants.

No comments:

Post a Comment