City History

Delano was founded on July 14, 1869 as a railroad town. The name was officially given by the Southern Pacific Railroad in honor of Columbus Delano, at the time the Secretary of the Interior for the United States. The first Post office opened in 1874. Delano incorporated in 1915.
Delano was a major hub of farm worker organization efforts and Chicano movement politics. Filipino immigrants Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Dulay Itliong were instrumental in shaping the direction of farm worker organizing in the 1950s
Philip Vera Cruz.jpg
Larry Dulay.jpg
On September 8, 1965, Larry Itliong and other Filipino leaders led the predominantly Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) in a "walk off" from table grape farms, now known as Delano grape strike. The strikers' goal was to improve farm workers' wages and working conditions. The National Farm Workers' Association (NFWA), a largely Hispanic union led by Cesar Chavez, joined the strike within a week. During the strike, the two groups joined forces and formed the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). By 1970, the UFW won a contract with major grape growers across California.

Sister Cities

Delano maintains a sister city relationship with the following towns:

Arida, Japan
Asti, Italy
Jacona, Michoacan, Mexico;
Kalibo, Philippines


Delano 's first sister city affiliation occurred on January 6, 1964 when Delano City Council and the Mayor passed Resolution 1964-1 officially adopting Asti, Italy.. Since that time, other cities have been chosen because of their similarities to Delano and their willingness to develop friendships and cultural exchanges. The Delano Sister City Committee was founded and organized on April 25, 1985 when Delano City Council and the Mayor passed resolution 1985-47 to provide for a seven (7) Member Executive Board. All Executive Board members are appointed by the City Council.

The Sister City program was launched as a national concept at the White House in 1956, when President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower called for massive exchanges between Americans and people of other nations. Originally proposed as the people-to-people program, and as part of the National League of Cities, SCI became independent as a nonprofit organization in 1967. Sister Cities International is the national membership organization for sister city state programs in the United States, and currently represents more than 2,100 communities in 121 countries around the world. Ontario Sister Cities is a member of the SCI network.

Sister Cities International
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 850
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 347-8650
(202) 393-6524 Fax