Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Secession For Kinney, Minnesota - 1977

City of Kinney
Clerk’s Office

July 13, 1977

Honorable Cyrus Vance
Secretary of State
Washington, D.C.

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.


Mary Anderson, Mayor
Margaret Medure, Clerk
Al Helmin, Councilman
Lloyd Linnell, Councilman
Myron Holcomb, Councilman
Jim Randall, Village Attorney

On July 13, 1977, the small Iron Range town of Kinney, Minn., seceded from the United States of America.

Kinney, which was never recognized by the U.S. government as a foreign nation, seceded because city council said “there is less paperwork to receive foreign aid.” At the time, council members were trying to obtain a $186,000 grant from the federal government to repair the town’s unworkable water system.

In true tongue-in-cheek fashion, the town issued 1,600 passports, guaranteeing those who held the passports safe passage through the city, a free slice of Slovenian cake, and 10-cent cups of coffee at Mary’s Bar. The city even commissioned a navy, which was comprised of a single canoe and no sailors.

Frozen food giant Jeno Paulucci even got in on the action. An Iron Range-area native and owner of Michelina’s and Jeno’s Pizza Rolls, Paulucci donated a used 1974 Ford LTD police car with 50,000 to replace the city’s only (and not running) police car. He also donated 10 cases of frozen pizza.

In the end, Kinney eventually received $198,000 from the state of Minnesota to fix the town’s broken water system. Today, the town sometimes holds a festival to celebrate their “independence.”

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