What is the history of National Good Neighbor Day?

In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601 which reads:

“As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love, and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family. Therefore — I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

What is the vision for National Good Neighbor Day?

National Good Neighbor Day was established to reinforce the relationships that form the fabric of our communities. It is a day to highlight and inspire good neighbor activities, simple gatherings to share food, fellowship and fun while re-kindling friendships; meeting current neighbors; welcoming new neighbors;  and promoting conversation around building relationships and activities to meet the needs of people within our neighborhoods.

Bringing neighbors together builds connectedness. And connectedness builds more satisfying, self-sufficient and effective communities that strengthen our nation as a whole.

National Neighborhood Day is celebrated in neighborhoods across the country each year on the third Sunday in September.

What is a gathering?

  • A block party, potluck, service project, neighborhood clean-up – whatever is fun and easy for you and your neighbors to plan and carry out. You decide what works best in your neighborhood.

How is a neighborhood defined?

  • However you choose to define it!
    • Your street or block or surrounding blocks
    • Your apartment or condominium
    • Floor of your apartment building
    • Area surrounding your nearby school or place of worship
    • Houses along your stretch of road
    • Your local park
    • Your local business district

Why a single day for NGND?

  • We recommend a single day to serve as a rallying point – an easy reminder to annually “refresh” neighborhood connections.
  • The third Sunday in September is a day that works well with our partners’ annual calendars and fits with most school schedules. And the weather is usually nice!
  • But…the most important thing is to connect!

This sounds familiar – isn’t there already something like NGND?

  • National Night Out, Fourth of July, Halloween, days of service, problem solving discussions, neighborhood barbecues – all good things. NGND is a day that may be used to promote and increase involvement in any number of other local activities. The more connections, the better neighbors come to know each other, the more good things happen organically (community service, collaboration, emergency preparedness, youth/adult mentor relationships, etc.)
  • NGND is about neighborhood relationships: building neighborhood relationships and inspiring activities, methods and tools for deliberately making connections that make a difference to individuals, neighborhoods and the larger community.