Celebrating 75 Years

It began with a simple but powerful idea, championed by the political economist Henry George at the dawn of the Gilded Age: by freeing communities from land speculation, governments can unlock opportunities that enable everyone to thrive.

A generation later, John Cromwell Lincoln turned the idea into a living legacy and created what would become the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. As we celebrate the Lincoln Institute's 75th anniversary in a time of gaping inequality, our founding ideals have never been more relevant.

We invite you to join us over the course of 2021, our anniversary year, as we celebrate our successes and map out new solutions to the social, economic, and environmental challenges that the world will face in the coming decades.


Life of an Idea: The Story of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Life of an Idea 

Cleveland industrialist and inventor John C. Lincoln established the Lincoln Foundation in 1946 to advance the economic theories of Henry George. Both men believed in the power of land policy to create a more equitable society. Building on his father’s vision and initial success in the United States, David C. Lincoln later grew the organization internationally to explore how land policy could help solve problems in differing political and economic contexts. His daughter, Kathryn J. Lincoln, took the helm as Chair of the Board in 1996. Under her guidance and global vision, the board has expanded the Institute’s reach and impact to address urgent challenges such as climate change. Operating first as a small foundation and later as a school, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy now performs public policy research, education and consulting on six continents. The Lincoln Institute carries forward John C. Lincoln’s vision in innovative and evolving ways to find answers in land.

The Lincoln Institute’s history and evolution is presented in this interactive timeline.

Our Legacy

In March 2021 we will premiere a film about the Lincoln family, their thinking about land policy and how it guides our work. Join us to explore the legacies of the Lincoln family and the different ways they’ve led the organization over these first 75 years.




Virtual Events

January 8, 2021, 12:30 p.m. EST
The Road to Revitalization: Economic Inclusion and America's Legacy Cities, presented in partnership with the City Club of Cleveland and Mansour Gavin

March 11, 2021, 7 p.m. EST
Global Film Premiere: “Life of an Idea: The Story of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.” 

May 26, 2021, 12 p.m. EDT
Investing in Change(makers): Equitably Developing America’s Small and Mid-Sized Legacy Cities, presented in partnership with the City Club of Cleveland and Mansour Gavin

June 23, 2021, 12 p.m. EDT
Tackling Climate Change: The Not-So-Hidden Role of Land, a 75th Anniversary Lincoln Institute Dialogue

July 30, 2021, 12 p.m. EDT
On the Waterfront: Connecting Neighborhoods to the Shore, presented in partnership with the City Club of Cleveland and Mansour Gavin


In-Person Events

(as public health circumstances allow)


September 23–24, 2021

Festival in Public Square; Keynote by Dr. Rev. Otis Moss, III, Pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ; series of conversations hosted by The City Club.


January 2022

Celebration focused on water in the U.S. West; an afternoon of “KED Talks” cohosted with Arizona State University; mobile salons to experience our global efforts in real time and virtually; evening gala with a keynote from Beth Ford, CEO, Land O’Lakes.

Land Lines Anniversary Edition

The double issue of Land Lines commemorates the 75th anniversary, chronicling the organization’s history and exploring how land can serve as a solution to social, economic, and environmental challenges around the globe. From rural villagers in China to tribal nations along the Colorado River, we take a closer look at the people and places finding answers in land.