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A Sister City Leader

Mark Bortman was the first leader to chair the Civic Committee (the main cog in the mechanism of citizen diplomacy) and saw the sister cities movement grow from some 40 affiliations after the Committee was formed in 1956 to over 350 U.S. communities linked with communities in 57 countries until his death In 1967.

The Birth of the People-to-People Program

Two deeply-held convictions unite us in common purpose. First, is our belief in effective and responsive local government as a principal bulwark of freedom. Second, is our faith in the great promise of people-to-people and sister city affiliations in helping build the solid structure of world peace.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower


Oldest Sister City Relationship Established Between Toledo, Ohio and Toledo, Spain

Although many communities site evidence of exchanges or other activities, Sister Cities International has verified that officials from Toledo, Ohio, and Toledo, Spain signed a twinning document in 1931.