NLC’s Centennial Roadshow: Celebrating 100 Years of Local Communities

By Trish Svoboda

In 1924, the National League of Cities (NLC) was established in Lawrence, Kansas, at the University of Kansas. To honor this centennial, the NLC will inaugurate its Centennial Roadshow: 100 Years, 100 Cities, in collaboration with the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration, the League of Kansas Municipalities, and the City of Lawrence, Kansas, with a day-long celebration at the University of Kansas.

Lawrence, Kansas, the founding site of NLC, will mark the inaugural destination of a nationwide roadshow orchestrated by the organization. This roadshow, spanning 100 cities across all regions of the nation, seeks to highlight the diversity, resilience, and evolution of America’s local communities. The journey will culminate at NLC’s City Summit conference in Tampa, Florida, in November 2024.

“It’s an honor to kick off the National League of Cities’ Centennial Roadshow in Lawrence, Kansas, where this great organization was founded,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities. “Having the opportunity to gather at the University of Kansas allows us to reflect on NLC’s history and look ahead to the opportunities the next 100 years will bring for America’s cities, towns, and villages.”

During the event, Dr. Maja Husar Holmes, Director of the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration, will moderate a panel discussion. The discussion will explore the beginning of NLC, the conditions in cities during the early 20th century that prompted the organization’s establishment, and the diverse ways in which NLC has influenced national policy on behalf of local governments over the past century.

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