November 1913 marked the 100th anniversary of the City’s Charter. The City kicked off a year-long celebration in November 2013 with a Charter Centennial Gala at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. In addition to celebrating the City’s Charter, the Gala paid tribute to the City’s rich history and the people who made Amarillo what it is today.
The City also partnered with Amarillo ISD to host Education Days at the Amarillo Civic Center. The field trips were designed to teach 7th and 8th graders how government works while giving them a sense of pride in their community and a sense of what role they may play in the City’s future.
Click HERE to view Charter Centennial Gala pictures
Click HERE to view a video Celebrating the City Charter’s 100th Anniversary
Click HERE to view Education Days pictures
Click HERE to read the City’s Charter
The focus of the year-long Charter Centennial Celebration is to celebrate the work of the Charter Commission. In 1913, Amarillo was among the first in the state of Texas to adopt the home rule form of government. Fifteen men served on the Charter Commission to chart our community’s future form of governance.
These men were:
John S. McKnight, Chairman
Thomas Currie, Secretary
Felix F. Phillips
Edward W. Hardin
Joe L. Penry
James M. Russell
Robert M. Walker
Adolph E. Meyer
Edward S. Burgess
James L. Smith
Jeff D. Bartlett
Neil S. Griggs
Durwood D. Dewing
Robert E. Underwood
M. John R. Jackson
One hundred years later, we honor their work on a document that essentially serves as the constitution for the City of Amarillo. Even with Charter amendments that were passed in the November 2013 election, Amarillo’s Charter remains one of the least amended charters in the state.
One hundred years of working under the guidance of that document is incredible, and it demonstrates the dedication and foresight of those leaders. They, along with that document, have historically positioned Amarillo to be what it is today – a regional hub larger than some states in the northeast.
Today we enjoy a diversified economy which has Amarillo well positioned for the next 100 years. We’re proud that Amarillo has the highest financial rating available. That’s not because of the efforts of today or yesterday, but because of an historical effort.
Amarillo was one of the first cities in the state of Texas to have a sales tax for economic development and one of the first in the state to have an events venue district.
Amarillo has weathered storms of two World Wars, the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the Dustbowl and the unfortunate closing of a strategic air command base. Despite that, our community has continually rebounded, staying strong.
For that, we owe a debt of gratitude to our Charter Commission and those who have followed in their footsteps over the last one hundred years.
As the Charter Centennial Celebration continues through October 2014, City representatives are making presentations at local civic organizations. If you would like to schedule a speaker for your group, please contact the Community Relations office at (806) 378-3549.
In addition to the Gala, the Education Days and civic presentations, plans are already underway for an Open House in June. Please revisit this page in the near future for more details!
Finally, the Charter Centennial Celebration events would not be possible without the support of our community. Many thanks to our sponsors: