On July 4, 1977, the Council of Dortmund passed a resolution to initiate an official friendship with the City of Buffalo.
Seal of Buffalo
The idea of a developing a closer union with Dortmund first originated in Buffalo. Already in 1950, the then Mayor of Buffalo, Mruk, sent a copy of the city hall key to Dortmund's Lord Mayor Fritz Henßler, expressing his wish for further communication.
In May 1974, Dortmund's Lord Mayor Samtlebe received a formal invitation to enter into a twinning relationship from Dr. Brigitte Barrell, the Consul of the German Consulate in Buffalo and from Buffalo's Committee for Furthering Twinning Relationships. The main reason for this was that Buffalo's ethnic German population wished to uphold its German cultural values and also for the purpose of a cultural and economic exchange.
The City of Buffalo's Council further confirmed its wish to initiate twinning relations with Dortmund at a meeting on October 8, 1974.
Due to the considerable distance between the two cities, Dortmund at first had serious reservations about entering into a twinning relationship.
In 1975, the first encounters took place between representatives of both cities:
- The school orchestra of Dortmund's municipal secondary school visited Buffalo
- 58 young Americans from Buffalo visit Dortmund
- The RWAG (today's Foreign Business (Auslandsgeschäft)) organises trips to Buffalo for Dortmund's secondary schools
- a Dortmund youth orchestra visits Buffalo
Buffalo is not far away from the famous Niagara Falls.
Picture: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany flickr / Deacon Steve Moses
In 1976, the RWAG organised a "Buffalo week" in Dortmund, to which a delegation of 40 people from Buffalo came, including Dr James McGoldrick, Professor for German and Russian at the Carnisius College in Buffalo. (Dr. Goldrick is a member of the Sister-City Committee/Buffalo) and is still one of our contact persons in Buffalo today).
In February 1977, there was a catastrophic cold spell in the USA. Dortmund's Lord Mayor expresses the City's deep-felt sympathy with the citizens of Buffalo.
On July 4, 1977, the Council of Dortmund passes the resolution to adopt an official twinning relationship with Buffalo.
In October 1978, the first "Dortmund Days" (with exhibitions, readings, presentations and cultural contributions) took place in Buffalo. Mayor Spaenhoff visited Buffalo, together with an official delegation from the City of Dortmund and handed over Dortmund's charter of partnership:
"The Council of the City of Dortmund declares its firm intention to nurture and expand its relationship to the City of Buffalo,USA."