Sister Cities of Cary, North Carolina, USA

Sister Cities Frequently Asked Questions

How did the Sister Cities movement start?
This is a great question that we posed to Mr. Herbert L. Pankratz, Archivist at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library. He replies:

“The sister cities program started as part of the People to People movement which began with President Eisenhower's encouragement in 1956. To combat East-West tensions and promote better understanding between nations President Eisenhower convened a conference of leaders from the fields of business, sports, music, education, etc. from throughout the country to meet with him in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 1956 to explore the possibilities of a program for people-to-people contacts between Americans and people of other nations. Eisenhower spoke to the conference and stated his belief that professor and student exchanges, technical assistance, and even ordinary travelers could help create greater understanding between peoples. People to People was established as a result of this conference. It initially operated with funding and direction from the United States Information Agency, but eventually it became a totally private non-profit organization. People to People had numerous programs which involved music, sports, student exchanges, and sister cities.”

“The actual concept of sister cities had originated with a town affiliation program started by the American Municipal Association (later National League of Cities) in the 1940's. However, only about a dozen cities had such relationships with foreign cities before People to People was begun in 1956. Under the auspices of People to People the sister city program grew to include over 300 U.S. cities by 1966. Eventually, the sister city program became large enough that it broke away from the People to People organization and became Sister Cities International.”

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Our Sister Cities:

Le Touquet, France
Le Touquet, France

Hsinchu City, Taiwan
Hsinchu, Taiwan

County Meath, Ireland
County Meath, Ireland

Markham, Ontario, Canada
Markham, Ontario, Canada