The Gainesville / Novorossiisk Sister City Program was founded in 1982 when the Gainesville City Commission unanimously resolved to invite the people of Novorossiisk to begin a "long standing friendship and association" with the city of Gainesville.

The resolution was hand-delivered to Novorossisk, where it was enthusiastically received by city officials. Thus began the first U.S. / Soviet sister city relationship initiated at the community level, without the help of national governments.

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