Preservation Month began as National Preservation Week in 1973. In 2005, the National Trust extended the celebration to the entire month of May, declaring it Preservation Month. This change helped provide an even greater opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country's cities and states.
The City of Newton's efforts in historic preservation run deep. In 2008, Newton established a historic preservation commission. Shortly after being appointed by the Newton City Council, the Newton Historic Preservation Commission became a Certified Local Government. As a CLG, the commission has applied for and received grants that support projects that give them a platform to promote historic preservation, further preservation policy, and educate residents about local history, architecture and preservation approach.
The Newton Historic Preservation Commission has donated thousands of volunteer hours, establishing four National Register of Historic Places districts. These are Maytag Park, the Newton Downtown, the First Ave East residential district, and the First Ave West residential district. They have also worked with Newton Main Street to establish Downtown Historic Preservation Design Guidelines. The commission has hosted the Preserve Iowa Summit, sponsored a Historic Churches Walking Tour, created a coloring book featuring historic buildings, and so much more.
The first National Preservation Week was celebrated on May 6 - 12, 1973. At the annual meeting on October 27, 1972, in Washington, D.C., Donald T. Sheehan, a member of the Trustees Advisory Committee on Membership & Public Relations, proposed the idea of the National Preservation Week as a "means of relating local and state preservation progress to the national effort for the mutual benefits of both." The National Trust chose the second week of May because it coincided with the organization's annual award luncheon, then in its third year.