ST. CLOUD -- April 15th, 1974 – St. Cloud awarded the title of All-American City

The All-American City Award is given by the National Civic League every year to 10 select cities.  This prestigious award recognizes communities that demonstrate innovation, inclusiveness, civic engagement, and cross sector collaboration to tackle community-wide issues.   The award program began in 1949 when a newspaper reporter brought up the idea to the National Civic League (known then as the National Municipal League).  Since its inception, it has been given to more than 500 cities.  St. Cloud was proud to join those ranks when it was award an All-American City on April 15th, 1974.

St. Cloud was chosen for this award for many reasons.  They were impressed by the organization of St. Cloud Opportunities.  This group was formed in 1955 by St. Cloud individuals concerned with the lack of taxable property and employment in St. Cloud.  They purchased a tract of land and developed it to become the St. Cloud Industrial Park, thus creating the opportunity for 3,000 jobs and more than $20 million a year.

The All-American City committee was also impressed with the history of the city and the health care, education, and religious options available to citizens.  They also liked the development of the Municipal Athletic Complex in a prime commercial area.

In a letter inviting community members to a banquet to celebrate this accomplishment, the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce stated: “Monday, April 15, 1974 is a day that most of us will remember for years to come.  We hope that you, your family, business and professional associates and friends area s proud as we are with the announcement that St. Cloud has been named an All-American City by the National Municipal League”.

Thanks to Sarah Warmka and the Stearns History Museum for their help with this story in our "This Date In Central Minnesota History" series.