Sister City Programs (aka City Twinning) intend to develop communication, friendship and understanding between people of two cultures, through formal association of their cities, towns, or villages. The Sister City Program is also an affirmation of people's basic goodwill toward other people.
The original Sister City Programs were started by President Eisenhower after World War II to match up American cities with war ravaged cities in Europe. The goal was to exchange support, financial aid and cultural awareness. By the 1960s, cities outside of Europe were joining the program.
In this high tech, social information world, the programs have evolved into bi-lateral exchanges of ideas, friendship, international business, and culture. Tulancingo is Pleasanton’s oldest Sister City, the others are Blairgowrie, Scotland and Fergus, Ontario.
In 2008 according to Sister Cities International:
- There were 694 Sister City communities in all 50 states in the United States and the District of Columbia and five United States territories with 1,992 partnerships.
- And there are Sister Cities in 134 countries and 1,749 international communities in Africa, Latin America, Asia/Oceania, the Caribbean, Eurasia, Europe, the Middle East and Canada working in partnership with the American cities.