Cummins’ 100th anniversary plans include celebration downtown

Cummins Inc. is less than a month away from kicking off its 100th anniversary, which will include celebrations at its locations worldwide. Some plans are already taking shape locally.

The Columbus-based Fortune 200 company, a global power company known historically for diesel engines, will have a celebration for current and retired employees, and their family members, in June in downtown Columbus, said Sally Leyes, who is leading planning for Cummins’ 100th anniversary.

The Columbus Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday approved the company’s application to have a portion of the city’s downtown area blocked off from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 15. The application requested that Jackson Street, from Fifth to Seventh streets; Fifth Street, from Washington to Lindsey streets; and Sixth Street, from Jackson to Washington streets, be closed.

The event, expected to draw about 13,000 people, will include food vendors, events for children and two or three stages for speakers and bands, and the remodeled museum in the Corporate Office Building, which is being renovated, will be open for attendees to see, according to the application and a presentation made to Board of Works members.

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Feb. 6 will serve as the company’s birthday kickoff, when more in-depth details about celebration activities will be shared with its employees worldwide, Leyes said. The day will honor the incorporation anniversary of the company that was founded in 1919 by Clessie Cummins, with financial backing from banker William G. Irwin.

On Feb. 6, employees will hear a video message from company Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger celebrating Cummins’ history and talking about its future, Leyes said.

Cummins has asked each of its sites worldwide to celebrate the 100th anniversary with employees and their family members at some point during the period of May through September, Leyes said.

“Every region will take the guidelines and message and implement it in a way they feel is right for the location and local culture,” Leyes said.

The company’s Columbus operations targeted June for a celebration, she added.

Cummins has already taken some steps toward its celebration efforts, creating a special anniversary logo and an anniversary theme: “Challenge the impossible.”

The theme represents the challenges Cummins has faced in its history, its ability to overcome them and bring new products to market, and what lies ahead for the next 100 years, Leyes said.

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For more information about the history of Cummins, Inc., visit