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100 years of AMLA, History of American Mutual Life Association Exhibition

January-February 2011

As the American Mutual Life Association celebrates a full century of its existence and its fraternal support, the Slovenian Museum and Archives invites you to learn about this rich history.

This fraternal benefit society, formerly known as the Slovenian Mutual Benefit Association or in Slovenian, Slovenska Dobrodelna Zveza (SDZ), was organized on November 13, 1910 by a group of Slovenian immigrants in Cleveland, Ohio.  Membership of the new Slovenska Dobrodelna Zveza was open to any Ohio resident of Slavic descent of good health and character and age 16-45.  It is the only Slovenian fraternal society headquartered in Cleveland, and is domiciled only in Ohio.  The association assumed its current name in 1966.  AMLA publishes its own newspaper, Our Voice (Glas ADZ).

Like the other fraternal benefit societies, it was formed out of a need to provide a network of support for the immigrants and to give them some kind of financial safety in times of need, like sickness, injury or death.  But the role of fraternals goes beyond mere insurance.  AMLA is also important for preserving and promoting the Slovenian cultural heritage, by organizing and sponsoring cultural, sports and social events, supporting cultural clubs and sport teams and providing mortgage loans to Slovenian national homes, churches etc.

The exhibit presents the history of the association, its sport clubs and its numerous activities, including dances.  Items displayed are on loan from the American Mutual Life Association.

Visit the Slovenian Museum and Archives and use this opportunity to witness an important piece of the Slovenian community’s history.

This exhibit will run through January and February 2011. Museum hours are: Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  SMA is located at 6407 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44103. Parking is also available in the back of the building.

For more information about this exhibition or other museum activities, contact the Slovenian Museum and Archives at (216) 361-5600, by email [email protected]., or web site:

Slovenian Museum & Archives