History

50 years and counting

We live in a global society, and never does the world seem smaller than when you hear stories of international connections that come back to pay dividends years later.

History of Sister Cities International

City, county and state relationships between the United States and affiliations around the world began shortly after World War II.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a People-to-People program at a White House conference in 1956 establishing this national initiative.

Originally a part of the National League of Cities, the popularity of the sister cities movement allowed it to become a separate nonprofit corporation in 1967.

Today, Sister Cities International unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in 545 communities with over 2,100 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents. This sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote peace and understanding through programs and projects focusing on arts and culture, youth and education, economic and sustainable development, and humanitarian assistance.

History of Omaha Sister Cities Association

Omaha is one of over 700 cities in the United States affiliated with over 2,400 communities in 134 countries across the world.

The Omaha Sister Cities Association was organized in 1965 by a group of prominent Omaha businessmen, led by Max Miller and Donald K. Howe. Their effort was supported by Mayors James Dworak and Alexander (A.J.) Sorensen.

The OSCA Mission is to involve individuals and organized groups at all levels of society in citizen diplomacy, with the hope that personal relationships, fostered through city, county, and state affiliations will lessen the chance of future world conflicts.

OSCA is an all-volunteer, 250 member, nonprofit organization, affiliated with the Office of the Mayor of the City of Omaha. Through its 47 year history, the organization has grown from one sister city relationship to six.

Omaha’s sister cities include:

  • Shizuoka, Japan (1965)
  • Braunschweig, Germany (1992)
  • Šiauliai, Lithuania (1996)
  • Naas, Ireland (2002)
  • Xalapa, Mexico (2005)
  • Yantai, China (2011).