The National Association of Parliamentarians has been serving its members and the public for seventy-five years as the premier organization promoting better meetings through better education.
NAP is indebted to:
Mrs. Emma Lard Longan, author and a pioneer in the field of teaching parliamentary procedure, whose far-reaching influence culminated in the organization of the National Association of Parliamentarians.
Dr. Silas W. Longan, her son, also a teacher and author of parliamentary rules, who was key in the founding of NAP, and upon whom was conferred the title of honorary president.
All past presidents whose untiring efforts have brought the National Association through seventy-five years of successful progress, creating an organization that continues to serve deliberative assemblies throughout the United States, Canada, and the world.
NAP can look back with pride on its contributions to the field of parliamentary law and procedure, and looks forward to the future. With progressive leadership and professional, enthusiastic members, a bright future is assured for the association and the organizations it serves. Members' contributions to groups in which they participate, whether through professional service or active membership, will continue to support and improve the democratic process.
Highlights from the National Association of Parliamentarians' history include:
June 14, 1898
The Parliamentary Club of Missouri is formed.
June 23, 1930
The National Association of Parliamentarians is organized. The organizational meeting is held in the Music Room of the Muehlebach Hotel at 12th and Baltimore, Kansas City, Missouri. The founders are Dr. S. W. Longan, Mrs. E. A. Holmes (charter president) Mrs. Robert E. McDonnell, Mrs. George W. Stevenson and Dr. Kathryn K. Allen.
NAP is incorporated in the State of Missouri with 19 members.
June 23, 1937
NAP holds its first convention at the Hotel President, Kansas City, Missouri. Mrs. W. G. Zimmerman presides with thirty members attending.
The official publication of NAP, the National Parliamentarian (originally called Parliamentary Pickles), begins publication. In the early years it carries the advertisements of parliamentarians willing to serve professionally and to teach.
The mace is adopted as NAP's official emblem. Indiana becomes the first state with a chartered association.
The sixth biennial convention, held in Indianapolis, is the first to be held out of the Kansas City area. Twenty-six states are affiliated with NAP.
Robert's Rules of Order is adopted as NAP's parliamentary authority, replacing Longan's Parliamentary Rules, the most frequently used procedure reference in the early days of NAP.
The first membership manual or "Blue Book" is published. It contains the membership roster, names of officers and committees, and a copy of the NAP bylaws.
The twelfth convention is held at Hotel Muehlebach in Kansas City, in the very room where the association was founded twenty-nine years earlier.
The first NAP office is established, on Country Club Plaza, rather than working out of members' homes.
Successful completion of a written examination is instituted as a requirement for membership in NAP.
A resolution is adopted at the San Francisco convention that opposes the use of the word "chairperson."
A headquarters library consisting of works on parliamentary procedure is established.
Student groups are established. A group of young people in an educational institution may form a group for the purpose of learning parliamentary procedure.
A bank of 300 questions is established, from which 100 are drawn at random for an individual's membership exam.
NAP moves into its own building at 213 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri, through the generous financial support of its members.
NAP's structure and operation is streamlined by removing the state presidents from the board of directors and adding district directors. The size of the board is reduced from almost 60 to about 20. Additionally, the executive committee is eliminated.
The first National Training Conference is held in Kansas City, Missouri.
The first Conference of Presidents is held to provide training and networking for state presidents and other state officers. An international extension committee is formed to reach beyond the North American continent.
NAP establishes a Web site.
The first News and Views Communique is written to keep state associations and units aware of information that is not contained in the National Parliamentarian.
The final mortgage payment is made on the national headquarters building.