University Archives

Famous Visitors from 1930's-1960's

March 7, 1969 - Moscow State Symphony

Moscow State Symphony

Under the direction of conductor Odissey Dimitriadi, the Moscow State Symphony played for 4500 spectators at Halenbeck Hall on March 7, 1969. Selections performed included "Scheherazade" and "Symphony No. 4." According to the March 11, 1969 edition of the College Chronicle, the audience showered applause on the group throughout the performance.

Support was so responsive, that "[i]f the orchestra had not left the hall after the third encore, the audience apparently would have stayed all night to listen."

September 19, 1967 - Mitchell Trio

Mitchell Trio

The Mitchell Trio, with members John Denver, Mike Kobluk, and David Boise, perform at Halenbeck Hall on September 19,1967. Here John Denver is interviewed by WJON's Mike Diem before the concert.

March 12, 1967 - Music arranger and composer Henry Mancini

Newspaper article about Henry Mancini

On March 12, 1967, composer/conductor/arranger Henry Mancini and the Minneapolis Orchestra performed at Halenbeck Hall.

Sponsored by the social fraternity Theta Chi and the St. Cloud Jaycees, Mancini directed the Minneapolis Orchestra, playing music from the films The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Charade, and The Great Race. It was Mancini's first visit to St. Cloud.

April 18, 1966 - Vocal trio The Lettermen

the Lettermen

A vocal trio, the Lettermen, performed at Halenbeck Hall on April 18, 1966.

Tickets for the concert, which was sponsored by the social fraternity Sigma Tau Gamma, cost $2.50, $2, and $1.50. Due to a snowstorm on the day of the performance, tickets sales were low.

March 3, 1966 - The Don Shirley Trio

Newspaper article about the Globetrotter's visit

The Don Shirley Trio performed at the Stewart Hall auditorium for St. Cloud State’s Fine Arts festival.  It was their second appearance at St. Cloud State - the first was on February 26, 1962 at the same Fine Arts festival.

February 22, 1966 - Basketball's Harlem Globetrotters

Newspaper article about the Globetrotter's visit

In their 40th year, the Harlem Globetrotters played the Washington Generals at Halenbeck Hall on February 22, 1966. Tickets for the event cost $3, $2, and $1.50. Globetrotter players included Meadowlark Lemon, Connie Hawkins, and Fred "Curly" Neal.

Traveling with the Globetrotters were the Bratislova Slovakian Flokloric Dancers, a Czechoslovakian troupe and famed baseball pitcher Satchel Paige.

January 17, 1966 - Musician Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong

Louis Armstrong performing at Halenbeck Hall

On January 17, 1966, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong played at the recently opened Halenbeck Hall.

Tickets for the concert cost $2 for main floor seats and $1.50 for bleacher seats. According to an article in the January 7, 1966 College Chronicle, proceeds from the show were to be given to the Student Project of Amity among Nations (SPAN), a summer program "designed to promote international friendship and understanding."

More than 4000 spectators attended the concert.

March 6, 1961 - British actor Basil Rathbone

Newspaper article about Basil Rathbone's visit

British actor Basil Rathbone was scheduled to read several dramatic pieces at St. Cloud State's first annual Fine Arts Festival in March 1961.

Mr. Rathbone was best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in 14 films between 1939 and 1946, including The Hound of Baskervilles.

March 20, 1957 - 1936 Summer Olympic track star Jesse Owens

Newspaper clipping of Jess Owens visit

While visiting campus on March 20, 1957, under the sponsorship of the student club Photozeteans, Olympic track star Jesse Owens discussed the 1936 and 1956 Summer Olympics.

Owens also showed films for those Olympic games as well.

October 4, 1952 - World War II US Army general and future US President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower crowing Homecoming Queen

On the campaign trail during the 1952 US presidential election against Democrat Adlai Stevenson, Dwight D. Eisenhower crowned Joyce Pearson as St. Cloud State's homecoming on the steps of the Stearns County courthouse in downtown St. Cloud before 6000 spectators. His only words upon crowning Ms. Pearson homecoming queen were "Queen Joyce." Afterwards, Eisenhower gave a short speech about the fight against communism.

Thanks to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas, here is the press release of the speech he gave in St. Cloud that day. (Dwight D. Eisenhower: Papers as President, Speech Series, Box 2, Sept. 26, 1952 to Oct. 13, 1952)

Silent footage of the crowning and the speech can be found on the Minnesota Digital Library's web portal Minnesota Reflections at: The Eisenhower footage begins at 12 minutes and 12 seconds. Special thanks to the Minnesota Digital Library for digitization of the 16mm black and white film.

November 16, 1948 - Blues musician Lead Belly

Newspaper clipping of Huddie Ledbetter' at Eastman Hall

The November 12, 1948 edition of the College Chronicle announced that blues musician Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, was scheduled to perform at Eastman Hall on November 16, 1948.

The Louisiana native passed away in New York City in late 1949 at the age of 61.

May 7, 1934 - 1932 Summer Olympic swimmer Ann Govednik

Newspaper clipping of Ann Govednik at Eastman Hall

The May 4, 1934 edition of the College Chronicle reported that Ann Govednik, a 1932 US Summer Olympic swimmer and Chisholm, Minnesota native, was set to visit campus, a year after an earlier visit to St. Cloud State. The article states that Ms. Govednik "will give exhibitions [at the Eastman Hall pool] for the benefit of the student body through the early part of the morning, demonstrating the breast stroke, of which she is champion and the crawl."

The article continued that Ms. Govendik " also a pleasing personality and won the favor of all the people of the college with whom she came in personal contact" and "is very modest about the records she achieved and rarely talks about swimming."

Ms. Govednik, whose married name was Van Steinburg, later swam in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

She graduated from St. Cloud State in 1940 with a BS degree.

December 4, 1931 - Poet Carl Sandburg

Newspaper clipping of Sandburg's visit

The November 20, 1931 edition of the Chronicle reported that Carl Sandburg, famous poet, was to visit St. Cloud State on December 4, 1931. The article reads:

Carl Sandburg, noted American poet, will appear here on December 4, giving his famous lecture-recital "Poems, Songs, Stories."

Mr. Sandburg is widely recognized as a rare and many-sided individual, a man who has archived notable place not only as a poet but as a biographer of Abraham Lincoln and as a philosopher and humorist.

His lecture-recital, which he will give here, is varied as the man himself. in it he reads passages from his "Abraham Lincoln," tells some of the stories and traditions of the Lincoln legend, presents some of his own poems, tells a rootabaga story, sings American folk songs accompanying himself on his guitar.