In the early 1970s, Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana created National Good Neighbor Day. In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601:
“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…I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
The date changed in 2003 from the fourth Sunday in September to an annual observance on September 28th.