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In 1924, ten state leagues came together at the University of Kansas to create a new, national organization to serve as a clearinghouse for information about municipal government. Over the next 100 years, the organization has grown in size and influence, serving as a trusted resource for mayors, city council members, and municipal government staff, providing them with unparalleled research and technical expertise.  

The National League of Cities (NLC), now based in Washington, DC, also serves as a relentless advocate for the nation’s cities, towns, and villages in our nation’s capital, and has played a historic role in shaping some of the country’s most significant pieces of public policy. Over the next year, we invite you to join us in celebrating a century of accomplishments on behalf of local governments and examining the challenges and opportunities that will face local governments in the decades to come.

A bus with the NLC 100 logo drives on a highway toward Tampa Bay

NLC Centennial Roadshow

As NLC approaches its centennial milestone, we’re preparing for a year-long celebration of activities, events, and celebrations highlighting our members, partners, and the transformative progress we’ve accomplished together. At the heart of this celebration, NLC is hitting the road for what we’re calling the “NLC Centennial Roadshow: 100 Years, 100 Cities.” 

An aerial view of downtown Washington, D.C. in the 1950s

Our History

At 9:30 am on December 12, 1924, in Fraser Hall at the University of Kansas, John Stutz called to order what would be the first meeting of the group initially called the Association of State Municipal Organizations, next the American Municipal Association, and finally, the National League of Cities. Here’s a look at how the organization evolved from that Lawrence, Kansas, classroom up to the current day.

100th Kickoff Leadership

Local Leadership

Local leaders get it done. Faced with some of the toughest challenges of our time, the public servants leading our nation’s cities, towns, and villages are delivering for their residents. As we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we recognize the elected officials, state municipal leagues, and other leaders who have helped shape NLC and its long history of significant milestones.