The People to People Program was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on September 11, 1956 to enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures.


The first National People to People Conference was held in Kansas City, Missouri in October, 1965. More than 200 members from 77 cities of 23 states attended. The December, 1965 newsletter, reported that the meeting met "with enthusiastic determination." Delegates to this Conference "proposed ambitious plans to accelerate People to People growth."


 In 1961, the program was incorporated in the state of Missouri as a not-for-profit organization known as People to People International. President Eisenhower became Chairman of the Board of Trustees and was recognized as the organization's founder.


After a visit with President Eisenhower in Korea, General Pak Kyong Won, later Governor Pak, personally organized People to People chapters in Korea. Alyce and William H. Johnson of the United States were members of the very active Chunchon Chapter in Korea while Bill was serving in the U.S. Foreign Assistance Program in Korea from 1965 to 1967.


By the time the fourth Annual Meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1964, there were chapters in 61 cities and 14 states in the United States in the United States. At that meeting, the Executive Director reported that these chapters provided a vehicle for carrying on at the community level all phases of People to People programs.


Fifteen members of the National Capitol Area Chapter (Washington, D.C. Area) attended the 13th Worldwide Conference in Chester, England. In addition to the day-long business meetings held at the Towne Hall, members were privileged to attend a welcome reception by the Lord Mayor of Chester at the home of the Duke of Westminster.