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The 57th anniversary of the day Congress passed the Peace Corps Act is on Saturday, September 22, and thanks to an Eagan, Minn., man's efforts, the anniversary will be marked with pomp and circumstance in his hometown of Plainview, Minn. The first Peace Corps marker to be placed in the United States will be dedicated in Plainview on Sept. 22 thanks to the efforts of Ken Flies, who back in 1962 was one of the four original Peace Corps members from Plainview, a town that at the time had only 1,400 citizens. Plainview is about a half hour northeast of Rochester.
The dedication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the Great River Ridge Bike trailhead at the intersection Minnesota State Highway 42 and 3rd Street in Plainview. The public is encouraged to park at the American Legion building at the corner of 3rd Street and 4th Avenue where there is ample parking. The trailhead is located two blocks south of the American Legion.
The marker dedication will be followed by a book signing event for Flies’ memoir, Into the Backlands, which will be held at the American Legion Hall in Plainview beginning at 2 p.m. At the time of the marker’s conception, Flies was encouraged by the Minnesota Historical Society to write a memoir of his experience in the backlands of Brazil in the early days of the Peace Corps. This event marks the public launch of the memoir.
A preview story about the event has been published in the Eagan Sun This Week, Fleis' current hometown newspaper. The Rochester Post Bulletin is doing a story as well. So is the Wabasha County Herald, and KTTC-TV in Rochester is planning to cover the event on Saturday.