Rotary’s onward march
Rotary’s onward march
The history of Rotary spans one of the most turbulent, albeit the most significant, periods of man’s history. Even though this outline of Rotary events, wihin the space limitations, is short and incomplete, the record is an astonishing oneâ€”in growth, in development of principles, and in achievement. Here is a chronological listing of Rotary highlights against a background of significant world news events.
Rotary founded in Chicago by Paul P. Harris.
Membership limited to one man from each business or proÂfession.
Name “Rotary” adopted, originating from practice of holding meetings in rotation at different members’ places of business.
Club singing introduced by Rotarian Harry L. Ruggles.
Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, expounded special theory of relativityâ€”and for the first time men of science discussed the possibility of converting matter into energy.
The first motion picture theatreâ€”a “nickelodeon”â€”opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., with the showing of The Great Train Robbery.
New Rotary Club of Chicago had steady growth in membership. Intimate first-name acquaintance promoted fellowship.
Rotary “wagon wheel” emblem adopted, the first of many varieties of “wheel emblems” to be used by different clubs, until 1912, when a geared wheel was adopted, this to be followed by authorization of an official emblem (1924), a wheel of six spokes, 24 cogs, and a “keyway.”
Militant agitation evidenced for woman’s suffrage in England, Lnited States, and other countries.
Sir Frederick G. Hopkins, English biochemist, discovered vitamins.
First community service: public comfort rest room installed in Chicago’s city hall by Rotary Club of Chicago.
First wireless message flashed across the Atlantic Ocean; 10.000 words handled the first day.
Second Rotary club organized in San Francisco California, U.S.A.
Sigmund Freud. Austrian neurologist, expounded the doctrine of psychoanalysis.
Rotary club Number 3 organized at Oakland, California, U.S.A.; the first club to hold weekly luncheon meetings regularly.
Additional clubs organized in Seattle, Los Angeles. New York City and Boston.
Peary discovered North Pole after eight trials in twenty-three years.
Radio used for first time in rescue at sea, when wireless operator of the S.S. Republic sent “CQD” (before “SOS”), saveing all but six passengers.
Wide interest manifested in new service club idea. Year marked organization of 16 existing clubs into a united body: The National Association of Rotary Clubs.
Rotary “principles” adopted in form of five objectives, subsequently changed from year to year until 1921 when a new objective was adopted “to emphasize the international influence of Rotary,” forerunner of Rotary’s fourth avenue of service.
Rotary became international when a club was organized in Winnipeg, Canada.
Boy Scouts of America formed by union of Woodcraft Indians and Sons of Daniel Boone, an extension of an idea originated in 1903 in England, by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.
Rotarv idea spanned the Atlantic when clubs were organized in Dublin, London, and Belfast.
The National Rotarian was born, forerunner of The Rotarian in English (1912) and the Spanish edition Revista Rotaria (1933).
At the Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., convention, the phrase “He profits most who serves the best” was added to the “Rotary Platform,” later to become Rotary’s official motto.
Norwegian explorer, Captain Roald Amundsen, discovered South Pole.
Canadian (Winnipeg) delegates attended third annual Rotary convention at Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.A.: London, England, club cabled request for admittance to membership.
Constitution revised: name changed to The International AssoÂciation of Rotary Clubs.
First districts (then called divisions) established; five in U.S.A., two in Canada, one in Great Britain and Ireland.
Rotary census: 50 clubs; 5,000 members.
First Girl Scout troop in the United States organized at Savannah, Georgia.
The S.S. Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank with a loss of 1.500 lives.
Rotary clubs contributed active relief service and more than $25,000 for victims of Ohio and Indiana, U.S.A., floods.
Delegates from Great Britain and Ireland attended convention in Buffalo, New York, U.S.A.
Peace Palace at The Hague dedicated.
Igor Sikorsky, American aeronautical engineer, built and flew first multi-motored airplane.
World War I began in Europe. Eight clubs in Great Britain and Ireland engaged in many kinds of relief work, including housing of Belgian refugees.
Rotary club No. 100 organized at Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. First ocean steamer passed through Panama Canal.
War service of clubs in Great Britain and Ireland intensified: entertainments for wounded soldiers; combat battalions raised; Rotary companies of special constabulary organized.
New standard club constitution and model by-laws adopted at the San Francisco convention for all new as well as existing clubs, including a provision for “additional active members,” previously known as partnership, associate, second active member.
The “Rotary Code of Ethics” adopted and during subsequent years came into wide usage.
Rotary system of districts enlarged and the term “district govÂernor” established.
Charter No. 200 issued to new club organized at Columbus, Georgia, U.S.A.
First Kiwanis club organized in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., the first of many service clubs to follow generally the pattern of Rotary.
El Club Rotario de la Habana started in the capital of Cuba, the first to be organized in a non-English speaking country.
“A Talking Knowledge of Rotary”â€”first comprehensive stateÂment of Rotary ideals and activitiesâ€”adopted at Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A., convention.
Attendance contest inaugurated.
Boy’s work initiated on Rotary-wide scale.
Federal Child Labor Law enacted in the U.S.A.
Rotary clubs in the U.S.A. took on war service of many kinds: Liberty Loan drives, promotion of civilian military training; mobilization of school boys for farm work; campaigns for clothÂing, food, tobacco, books, and magazines for army training camps.
Endowment fund, forerunner of The Rotary Foundation, established.
Interest of Rotary clubs in work for crippled children aroused.
The 300th Rotary club organized at Huntington, Indiana, U.S.A.
Rotary club organized in Cardiff, the first to be established in Wales.
Mexico adopted a new constitution, providing for universal suffrage, the eight-hour day, minimum wage, arbitration of labor disputes, and agrarian reform.
“Win the War” convention held at Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
First club to be organized in South America started at MonteÂvideo, Uruguay.
The 400th Rotary club organized at Fort Scott, Kansas, U.S.A. Total membership passed 40,000 mark.
“Allied Rotary Club of France” formed for Rotarians in the armed services, forerunner of the Paris Rotary club, organized three years later.
In the U.S.A., first regularly scheduled air mail service inÂaugurated between Washington and New York City.
Rotary extended to the Philippines, China, Panama, India, and Argentina.
Countries in which there were Rotary clubs reached fifteen.
Fremont, Nebraska, U.S.A., received charter No. 500.
Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur W. Brown were the first to fly across the Atlantic, Newfoundland to Ireland; 1,936 miles, in 15 hours, 57 minutes.
Rotary club started at Madrid, Spainâ€”the first to be organÂized in Continental Europe.
Rotary Club of New York City held first “Boys Week” observance, an event destined to extend rapidly to many countries. First Rotary club organized in Japan, at Tokyo.League of Nations held first meetings. International Court of Justice established.
19th amendment, giving suffrage to women, added to constiÂtution of the United States of America.
The 1,000th Rotary club started in the historic city of York, England.
Rotarians James W. Davidson, of Calgary, and J. Layton Ralston, of Halifax, appointed honorary commissioners to organize clubs in Australia and New Zealand. First clubs started at Melbourne and Wellington.
“International good will and peace” objective adopted at Edinburgh convention, first convention to be held outside the United States of America.
Clubs organized in South Africa, France, Mexico, Peru, DenÂmark, and Newfoundland.
Conference for limitation of armaments met in Washington, B.C., U.S.A.
Constitution and by-laws completely revised; name shortened to “Rotary International”; adoption of standard club constitution made mandatory for all new clubs subsequently organized.
Clubs organized for the first time in Brazil, Norway, and The Netherlands.
Two Portuguese aviators, Coutinho and Cabral. flew from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, with stops at Cape Verde and Natal, making first airplane crossing of South Atlantic.
President Harding (U.S.A.), addressing the Rotary convenÂtion at St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., said: “If I could plant Rotary in every community throughout the world, I would do it, and then I would guarantee the tranquility and the forward march of the world.”
Rotary policy on community service (famous Resolution 34) more clearly established.
The great earthquake in Japan brought thousands of dollars from clubs all over the world and from Rotary International. Tokyo Rotary judiciously distributed contributions to needy areas.
Movement first initiated to encourage members to have their business and craft associations adopt “codes.” or “standards of practice” based upon a model code suggested by Rotary.
Rotary clubs organized in Belgium, Italy, and Chile.
Juan de la Cierva, Spanish mathematician, made first successful autogyro flight in Madrid in a rotary wing aircraft.
First transcontinental air mail service inaugurated in the U.S.A.
Rotary clubs organized in Switzerland. Bermuda, and Trieste.
Total membership passed the 100.000 mark.
Turkey abolished the caliphate and declared for a republic.
Nellie T. Ross became the first woman governor of a state (Wyoming, U.S.A.).
Branch office of R.I. secretariat established at Zurich, SwitzerÂland.
Rotary extended to five additional countries: Czechoslovakia, Guatemala. Austria, Hungary, and Portugal.
Charter No. 2,000 issued to Rotary Club of Ketchikan, Alaska.
Locarno treaty for replacement of war by arbitration ratified by European powers.
Scottish inventor, John L. Baird, first demonstrated “televisor,” early practical television device.
First Pacific Regional Conference held at Honolulu with 433 present from eight countries.
Clubs organized in Sweden, Finland, and Colombia.
First polar flight by Lieutenant Commander Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett in a tri-motor Fokker from Spitzbergen over the North Pole and return in 15 Â½ hours.
Treaty limiting arms traffic signed by 32 nations at Geneva.
“Great Rotarian Ideal” was reaffirmed by King Albert in officially opening Rotary’s 18th convention at Ostend: “The Great Rotarian Ideal, essentially a humanitarian ideal of brotherhood, may have an efficient application in the broad sphere of international relationship. Friendliness in international relations can be fostered by friendliness in international trade.”
Aims and Objects plan of club administration and club activity, originating in Great Britain and successfully employed by many clubs there, adopted by convention action as recommended procedure throughout Rotary.
The 3,000th Rotary club organized at Talca, Chile.
Seven additional countries came within Rotary’s sphere of influence: Paraguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Bolivia, Germany, and Java.
Charles A. Lindbergh, in monoplane “Spirit of St. Louis,” flew alone, nonstop, from New York to Paris in 33 Â½ hours.
First transatlantic telephone service opened.
James W. Davidson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, carried the Rotary idea to countries in the Orient.
Second Pacific Regional Conference held in Tokyo, Japan.
New Rotary clubs organized in Greece and in the Federated Malay States.
Paris Pact for outlawing war signed.
Russia announced start of Five-Year Plan.
First all-talking moving picture, “Lights of New York,” preÂsented in New York City.
Rotarian Davidson’s energy, enthusiasm, and initiative reflected in new clubs in Egypt, Palestine, Ceylon, and Burma.
Other Rotary clubs organized in Western Hemisphere, in Honduras and Nicaragua; on continent of Europe, in Yugoslavia, Rumania, and Luxembourg.
Commander Richard E. Byrd, with a crew of three, flew over the South Pole.
James H. Doolittle, American aviator, proved feasibility of “blind flying” by taking off and landing entirely with instruments.
The Graf Zeppelin, a German dirigible, circumnavigated the globe.
Silver Anniversary convention held in Chicago, Rotary’s birthÂplace, with 11,019 registered from 58 countries, breaking all convention attendance records.
Past service membership made available to members upon reÂtirement from active business or professional life.
First regional conference for Europe, Africa, and Asia Minor held at The Hague, with 763 present from 20 countries.
Rotary passed the 150,000 mark in membership.
Rotarian Davidson’s magic hand created more clubsâ€”in Algeria, Morocco, Southern Rhodesia, Straits Settlements, Kenya, and Siam.
First Rotary club organized in Estonia.
Prime Minister of France, Briand, urged formation of a “United States of Europe.”
World wide depression came into view.
Rotary’s 22nd annual convention in Vienna, Austria. Austrian government issued set of six stamps commemorating convention.
World depression reflected in the loss of 18 clubs, largest loss to date.
Rotary clubs organized in Poland, Hong Kong, Lebanon, and Danzig.
Ernest Orlando Lawrence, American physicist, invented the cyclotron, making possible research into the structure of the atom and creation of nuclear transmutation.
World-wide depression resulted in first net annual loss in Rotary history: 27 clubs terminated, with a decrease in membership of 2,000.
First Rotary club organized in Latvia.
Branch office of Rotary International Secretariat for Middle Asia authorized (eventually established in Singapore in 1935, relocated in Bombay in 1939, and closed in 1948).
Treaty signed between Canada and the United States for proposed development of St. Lawrence waterway into an ocean lane and power project.
Great Zuider Zee reclamation dike in The Netherlands comÂpleted.
Revista Rotaria, Spanish edition of Rotary’s official magazine, inaugurated.
First Rotary club organized in Bulgaria.
Loss in membership suffered for second year, partly offset by organization of 107 new clubs.
A short business “creed,” called “The Four-Way Test,” adopted by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor, of Chicago, and associates, subsequently to enjoy wide usage among Rotary clubs and Ro-tarians.
Wiley Post, American aviator, in a solo flight in a Lockheed Vega, encircled globe in seven days, 13 hours.
Charles and Anne Lindbergh, on a good-will mission, flew 30,000 miles, visiting twenty-one countries.
First council on legislation held as an integral part of the RoÂtary convention.
First “Institute of International Relations,” sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.â€”the forerunner of thousands of institutes of international understanding sponsored by Rotary clubs.
Rotary clubs organized in Iceland and Lithuania.
Adolf Hitler became supreme dictator of Germany.
President Lazaro Cardenas, addressing more than 5,000 Rotarians in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, extended official welcome to Rotary’s 26th annual convention.
Rotary’s “objects” revised from six to four.
First Rotary club organized in Tunisia.
Rotarians in South America participated widely in organized relief work for prisoners of war in Bolivia and Paraguay.
Rotary founder, Paul P. Harris, made round-the-world trip, visiting clubs in the Orient, in Australia, and in New Zealand, and received many outstanding honors.
The French liner, S.S. Normandie, on its maiden voyage, crossed Atlantic in four days, 11 hours and 42 minutes, to estabÂlish a new record.
U.S.A. Social Security bill signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
First Rotary Regional Conference for South America held at Valparaiso, Chile. Four hundred Rotarians and guests attended.
Rotary extended to Fiji Islands and Sarawak.
Rotary Charter No. 4,000 issued to new club at Hanover, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Plan of “Institutes of International Understanding” inaugurated.
Twenty-one American republics signed neutrality pact.
Zeppelin “Hindenburg” inaugurated regular transatlantic service.
General redistricting program created 23 new districts and changed boundaries of many others.
Rotary’s 28th annual convention at Nice, France, officially opened by President Albert Lebrun, who extended welcome to nearly 6,000 delegates and guests from 65 countries.
Rotary clubs organized in Netherlands West Indies, Monaco, Syria, and Venezuela.
As a result of pressure by government, 42 Rotary clubs in Germany and the club in the Free City of Danzig disbanded.
New constitution adopted by Irish Free State.
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco completed. Length of main span, 4,200 feetâ€”then longest in the world.
Rotary clubs in Austria (11) and Italy (34) disbanded, grim prelude to what was to occur during the next five years in 33 other Countries invaded by Axis armies or coming within their orbit of influence, resulting eventually in the temporary loss of 484 clubs and 16,700 members.
First Middle Asia Regional Conference held at Penang, Straits Settlements.
Rotary extended to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and Cyprus. Rotary passed the 200,000 mark in membership. Production of first light-weight Diesel engine announced.
Otto Hahn, German chemist, discovered uranium fission, marking a turning point in the search for the secret of atomic energy.
The loss of clubs and members through government suppression in many countries more than offset by admission of clubs in other countries and by membership increases in already existing clubs throughout the world.
“Senior membership” established for members of long standing desiring to relinquish their classifications to younger men and still retain their own club membership; subsequently changed to senior active membership.
First clubs organized in French West Africa and on the Island of Guam.
Severe earthquake disaster in Chile brought relief contributions from clubs throughout the Americas and other areas.
Rotary Charter No. 5,000 issued to Rockmart, Georgia, U.S.A.
Regular commercial flights inaugurated between the United States and Europe.
First “network” telecast was made to Rotary clubs meeting in Schenectady, Albany, and Troy, New York, U.S.A.
Beginning of the Second World War.
Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland braced themselves for war service as war spread throughout Europe.
At 31st annual convention at Havana, Cuba, delegates representing Rotary in 32 countries adopted a “respect for human rights” resolution; authorized a contribution of $50,000 from surplus funds for direct war relief through the Red Cross; also, voted for establishment of Rotary Relief Fund to help alleviate suffering of Rotarians and their families due to the war.
British Prime Minister Churchill made historic address to House of Commons, telling Britain that war meant “blood, sweat, and tears.”
The possibility of splitting the atom of U-235 demonstrated, and the basic facts relating to the release of atomic energy beÂcame known throughout the scientific world.
Through relief fund contributions, food parcels sent monthly to Rotarians in European prison camps.
Clubs continued to be disbanded in more countries, but organization of clubs in other countries continued to offset losses.
Inauguration of “The Americas Speak” program of weekly radio broadcasts presented by Rotary clubs of the Americas.
In neutral Switzerland, clubs began organizing relief measures for Belgian and French refugees.
Committee established to study requirements for a post-war peaceful world.
Attack on Pearl Harbor brought United States into World War II.
Declarations of war by many countries motivated clubs to all-out efforts in aiding in prosecution of the war, not the least of which were numerous projects for raising civilian and military morale.
Remnant of Rotary Club of Manila met on Corregidor and conferred honorary membership on General Douglas MacArthur.
Rotary conference called in London, by District 13, of minÂisters of education and observers, representing 21 governments (many then in exile), for the purpose of considering organizaÂtion of a vast educational and cultural exchangeâ€”eventually resulting in UNESCO.
Chesley R. Perry, long-time secretary of Rotary International (since 1910) retired; succeeded by Rotarian Philip C. Lovejoy.
Inter-American conference opened at Rio de Janeiro, convened for purpose of uniting republics in the Americas against aggression.
First controlled nuclear chain reaction occurred at the University of Chicago.
U.S.A. War Production Board presented to Rotary International a citation in recognition of meritorious salvage work by clubs in the United States.
Launching of “Work Pile” idea gave great stimulus to community surveys and cataloging of post-war work to assure work for demobilized service men and war workers.
For the first time since 1939, Rotary extended to another countryâ€”the Dominican Republic, where a club was organized in Ciudad Trujillo.
In Finland, Rotary clubs took up projects related to the care of boys and girls orphaned by war.
Curative properties of penicillin demonstrated for first time.
Ground cleared for an amazing structure to house an atomic operation known as “Manhattan Project.”
“Streamlined” 35th annual convention held in Chicago. AtÂtendance restricted to officers of Rotary International.
First club organized in French India, one of 169 new clubs admitted to R.I. during this year.
In Sweden, more than 32,000 Finnish children being cared for in Swedish homes, Rotary clubs assuming a prominent part in this great humanitarian work.
“Work Pile” idea for surveying and planning for post-war work projects adopted by many other organizations.
Experts representing 44 nations, meeting at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, U.S.A., reached agreement on plan for stabilizing world currencies and for promoting international reconÂstruction and development.
Dumbarton Oaks conference of representatives of United States. Britain, Russia, and China, formulated a pattern for a United Nations organization.
In March, the Rotary Gub of Guam readmitted to memberÂship in R.I., the first club to be reorganized in formerly occupied countries.
By the close of 1945, 66 clubs readmitted from France, BelÂgium, The Netherlands, Norway and the Philippines.
Upon request of UNRRA, Rotary clubs in the U.S.A. and Canada asked to “spearhead” great used-clothing drive for benefit of war-devastated areas throughout the world.
Forty-nine Rotarians served as delegates, advisers, or consulÂtants at San Francisco Conference of 46 original members of the United Nations.
“From Here On!” published by R.I., containing full text of the new UN charter, for distribution to all English-speaking clubs. Subsequently published in other languages.
Rotary Charter No. 6,000 issued to new club at Aleppo, Syria.
Release of atomic energy for explosive purposes demonstrated by use of an atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, 8 August.
Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Rangoon, Athens, and six cities in Czechoslovakia reactivated Rotary clubs.
Present at the United Nations General Assembly sessions in London were three observers on behalf of R.I.
World-wide plan of Rotary Foundation Fellowships announced awards for one year’s advanced study in a country other than that of student’s residence.
International Military Tribunal meeting in Nuremberg found 19 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes. Twelve sentenced to die by hanging; seven sent to prison, and three acquitted.
First draft of new constitution announced by Japan, one clause of which outlawed war.
U.S. Army Signal Corps reported a radar beam had reached the moon.
Founder Paul P. Harris passed away in Chicago. The Fellowships plan dedicated as a memorial to him and an auspicious start made by the granting of 18 Fellowships for the scholastic year of 1947-48.
R.I. board of directors issued call to all clubs to comply with mandate of 1938 convention to raise $2,000,000 for The Rotary Foundation. Immediate and gratifying response.
Rotary clubs in Italy readmitted.
Rotary entered another geographical region with a club in Macao.
Rotary International named by UNESCO as one of official consultative non-governmental agencies to co-operate with the U.N. in the dissemination of information.
Thirty-eighth annual convention in San Francisco, California, U.S.A., with 55 countries and geographical regions represented and a total registration of 14,678.
“Marshall Plan” announced, promising aid to free nations striving toward rehabilitation.
Thirty-seven Fellowships awarded for the scholastic year of 1948-49, to students of 12 countries for study in 11 countries other than their own. Total contributions to The Rotary Foundation exceeded $1,775,000.
Allocation of $15,000 made from The Rotary Foundation funds to continue work for relief of war-affected Rotarians. AsÂsistance given to 150 families.
Rotary Charter No. 7,000 issued to new club at Udine, Italy.
Service Is My Business, attractively bound 140-page book explaining in practical terms what vocational service means, published and enthusiastically received by Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike.
First international Rotary convention held in the Southern Hemisphere convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with 37 countries and geographical regions represented and a total registraÂtion of 8,105.
Rotary entered another geographical region with a club in Tanganyika, at Dar-Es-Salaam.
At Mt. Palomar Observatory in California, U.S.A., the world’s largest reflecting telescope (with 200-inch mirror) dedicated.
Rotary clubs re-established in Japan, Korea, Germany, and the Saar.
Fifty-five Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded for the scholastic year of 1949-50. A total of $1,708,000 contributed to The Rotary Foundation since the death of Paul Harris.
Four-Way Test desk plaque made available for distribution to all Rotary clubs.
Trustees of The Rotary Foundation approved granting of two special Fellowships for the year 1949-50, in scientific, medical, and industrial research, much of which, in the over-run and devastated countries, had ceased during the war.
Over 11,000 food and merchandise packages sent to Rotarians in war-devastated areas.
Fortieth annual convention in New York City, U.S.A., brought together 15,971 Rotarians, including members of their families, from 64 countries and geographical regions. The largest convention in Rotary’s history!
U.N. Commission on Human Rights adopted covenant outlawing forced labor, slavery, arbitrary arrest, and torture.
Aims and objects committee made responsible for the development of service to youth activities, and R.I. youth committee discontinued.
Immediately following disastrous flood in Manitoba, Canada, and fire which struck Rimouski, Quebec, Canada, immediate and generous response came from Rotary clubs in Canada and the U.S.A.â€”a total of $43,000 contributed.
Contributions continued to flow into The Rotary Foundation. During 1950, $212,645 contributed, bringing total contributions to $1,920,466. Two large gifts of $20,000 and $10,000 came from Rotarians of California.
Eighty-four Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded for the scholastic year of 1950-51 to students in 23 countries for study in 24 countries other than their own. This brought the total Fellowships awarded to date to 194.
Due to conditions prevailing in China, 23 clubs in that country dissolved.
Forty-first annual convention in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., attended by 6,949 Rotarians and members of their families from 50 countries of the world.
Provision for an aims and objects committee on the club level eliminated, and a new, simplified club committee plan recommended.
An additional $112,073 contributed to The Rotary Foundation between 1 January and 1 June, 1951. Total contributions since February, 1947: $2,032,539â€”the original goal of $2,000,000 reached on 9 May.
Eighty-nine Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded for the scholastic year of 1951-52 to students in 33 countries for study in 20 countries other than their own.
Assistance to war-affected Rotarians continued through splendid efforts of individual Rotary clubs. As of 1 June, 81 families in eight countries received much-needed help from 80 Rotary clubs.
Forty-second annual convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.A., with attendance of 8,453 Rotarians and members of their families from 46 countries. Convention action changed Rotary’s “objects” to only one “object” with four partsâ€”the four avenues of service.
Transcontinental television inaugurated in United States, with President Truman being seen and heard over a network of 94 stations by an estimated 40,000,000 people.
Membership of remaining clubs on mainland of China terminated, leaving the Rotary club at Taipei, on the island of Formosa, as the only club in China.
For scholastic year 1952-53, 109 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded to students in 34 countries for study in 16 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 392, and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation to $3,200,000.
Philip C. Lovejoy, general secretary of Rotary International since 1942, retired as of 31 December; succeeded by Rotarian George R. Means, who had served as assistant general secretary.
The first Rotary club organized in North Borneo, at Jesselton.
Forty-third annual convention in Mexico City, with 6,800 Rotarians and members of their families from 53 countries in attendance. Convention voted to build a Rotary International headquarters in or near Chicago.
Great Britain’s first atomic test took place off the coast of northwest Australia.
Ground broken by President Brunier for Rotary International’s new headquarters building at ceremony in Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A., on 3 May.
Consultative groups appointed for club service, vocational servÂice, community service, and international service, to review fields of Rotary service as assigned to each group and to explore new techniques for making each avenue of service more effective.
For the scholastic year 1953-54, 101 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded to students in 32 countries for study in 15 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 493, and total contributions to The Rotary FoundaÂtion to $3,400,000.
As of 31 August, there were 7,886 Rotary clubs with some 374,000 Rotarians. Up to that time, 48 new Rotary clubs in 22 countries received their charters.
Rotary clubs organized for the first time in Vietnam, South West Africa, Northern Rhodesia, and Surinam.
Annual convention in Paris, France; 10,107 Rotarians and members of their families from 76 countries in attendance.
Queen Elizabeth II ascended throne of England. Stalin, head of the U.S.S.R., died.
Cornerstone ceremonies held on 16 May for the new headquarters building of Rotary International in Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A. New building occupied on 16 August.
For scholastic year 1954-55, 108 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded to students in 34 countries for study in 19 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 601, and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation to $3,600,000.
During the Rotary year 1953-54, 487 Rotary clubs chartered, the greatest number ever admitted to membership in R.I. in one year. As of 1 July, there were 8,313 Rotary clubs with 390,000 Rotarians.
Rotary entered another geographical region with a club in Brunei. There were Rotary clubs in 89 countries!
Fifth Regional Conference for the European, North African, and Eastern Mediterranean region held in Ostend, Belgium, 10-13 September, with 1,660 persons from 30 countries in attendance.
Annual convention in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., with 8,646 Rotarians and members of their families from 53 countries in attendance.
The author of The Four-Way Test, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor, presented the copyright to the Test to Rotary International as a gift from his company.
U.S. Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, speaking at opening of 10th Inter-American Conference at Caracas, Venezuela, called for closer economic co-operation and pointed out dangers that existed where alien despotism was allowed to threaten the peace and democratic ideas of the Americas.
Rotary’s Golden Anniversary year. Among the major accomplishments to commemorate 50 years of Rotary service was publication of a beautiful souvenir volume, entitled Rotaryâ€”Fifty Years of Service, telling a fascinating story of Rotary events against a panorama of half a century; Rotary clubs carried on projects which had a tremendous impact in bringing Rotary to the attention of non-Rotarians; a motion picture, The Great Adventure, was produced to dramatize the Rotary story against a background theme of Rotary Foundation Fellowships; and 27 countries issued postage stamps commemorating Rotary’s Golden Anniversary, an event unprecedented for a non-governmental orÂganization.
For scholastic year 1955-56, 104 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded to students in 26 countries for study in 20 counÂtries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 705, and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation to $4,162,000.
As of 1 July, there were 8,776 Rotary clubs with 414,000 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1954-55, 473 new Rotary clubs in 52 countries received charters.
Rotary entered five other geographical regions with clubs in Angola, Belgian Congo, Ethiopia, Nyasaland, and Turkey.
Forty-sixth “Golden Anniversary” convention in Chicago, IlÂlinois, U.S.A., with 14,891 Rotarians and members of their famiÂlies from 64 countries in attendance.
Representatives of Great Britain, France, Russia and the United States held “summit” conference at Geneva.
Pacific Regional Conference held in Sydney, Australia; attendance: 1,961.
The week including 15 November designated annually as “The Rotary Foundation Week” to increase understanding of the needs and purposes of The Rotary Foundation by Rotarians and the general public.
One-day district institutes on Rotary information and extension made a standard part of the Rotary program.
For scholastic year 1956-57, 117 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded to students in 33 countries for study in 24 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 822, and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation to $4,600,000.
As of 1 July, there were 9,140 Rotary clubs with some 433,000 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1955-56, 375 new Rotary clubs in 50 countries received charters.
Rotary entered six new geographical regions with clubs in Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Netherlands New Guinea, Ruanda-Urundi, and Swaziland.
Annual convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., with 10,689 Rotarians and members of their families from 58 countries in attendance. The first biennialmeeting of the council on legislation held just preceding the convention.
Hungarians revolted against Communist oppression.
Suez incident incited open hostility and threatened to cause war in Middle East.
Fifteen-minute filmstrip program with recorded narration entitled The Making of a Rotarian, produced and distributed to district governors for use by clubs. Program described recommended procedure in selecting, electing, introducing, educating, and assimilating a new member of a Rotary Club.
A new approach to international service launched with publication of materials describing how to stage an into-their-shoes conference. Technique: the Rotary club initiates the conference in which the entire community is invited to participate, with groups of citizens forming delegations to “represent” countries other than their own. During meetings spread over a period of several weeks, the participants discuss and debate topics of interÂnational interest.
As of 1 July, there were 9,507 Rotary clubs with 450,000 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1956-57, 376 new Rotary clubs in 41 countries received charters.
Rotary entered 12 new geographical regions with clubs in British Honduras, Cambodia, Eritrea, French Cameroon, French Equatorial Africa, Guadeloupe, Liechtenstein,Martinique, Papua, Uganda, Virgin Islands, and West Indies Federation.
For scholastic year 1957-58, 126 Rotary Foundation FellowÂships awarded students from 28 countries for study in 24 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 948, and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation to $5,360,000.
Annual convention in Lucerne, Switzerland, with 9,915 Rotarians and members of their families from 78 countries in atÂtendance.
First satellite launched.
Sir Leslie Munro, New Zealand Rotarian, elected president of the U.N. General Assembly.
Upon recommendation of the R.I. board of directors, the week including 20 March designated annually as World Understanding Week, with Rotary clubs urged to present club programs and other activities especially emphasizing understanding and good will as essential for world peace.
Asia Regional Conference held in Delhi, India; attendance: 3,140.
Rotary entered four new geographical regions with clubs in French Guiana, Ghana, Laos, and Madagascar.
As of 1 July, there were 9,878 Rotary clubs with 464,000 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1957-58, 377 new Rotary clubs in 51 countries received charters.
For scholastic year 1958-59, 121 Rotary Foundation FellowÂships awarded students from 34 countries for study in 25 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 1,069, and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation to $6,388,986.
Forty-ninth annual convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., with 15,587 Rotarians and members of their families from 56 countries in attendance.
First underwater transpolar navigation in history accomplished by nuclear powered submarine.
Exploration of outer space accelerated during the international geophysical year.
For scholastic year 1959-60, 126 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded students from 33 countries for study in 21 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 1,195 and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation (as of 12 October, 1959) to $6,527,465.
Rotary world photo contest launched with hope that numerous entries would be useful for illustrating Rotary publications and for making filmstrips on various Rotary subjects.
A new book on international service, Seven Paths to Peace, published and “unveiled” at the New York convention.
A 22-minute color filmstrip, accompanied by a script for the narrator, entitled Our Magazineâ€”Adventure in Friendship, proÂduced and distributed to district governors for use by clubs. The filmstrip told the interesting, entertaining story of The Rotarian and Revista Rotaria magazines.
As of 1 July, there were 10,266 Rotary clubs with 480,000 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1958-59, 406 new Rotary clubs in 54 countries received charters.
Fiftieth annual convention in New York City, New York, U.S.A., with 15,475 Rotarians and members of their families from 73 countries in attendance.
European Regional Conference held in Cannes, France; attendance: 2,266.
The U.S.S.R. made the first successful “moon shot.”
Heads of governments initiated personal visits to other countries in effort to lessen international tensions.
South American Regional Conference held in Santiago, Chile; attendance 1,155 Rotarians and members of their families from 14 countries.
As of 1 July, there were 10,681 Rotary clubs with 495,500 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1959-60, 428 new Rotary clubs in 47 countries received charters.
Fifty-first annual convention in Miamiâ€”Miami Beach, Florida,
U.S.A., with 11,351 Rotarians and members of their families from 67 countries in attendance.
For scholastic year 1960-61, 123 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded students from 30 countries for study in 27 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 1,318 and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation (as of 15 June, 1960) to $6,952,399.
Rotary entered five new geographical regions with clubs in French Polynesia, New Guinea, San Marino, Aden, and Ryukyu Islands.
The newly independent government of the former Belgian Congo asked the United Nations for military assistance in maintaining order.
Seventeen African nations and Cyprus were admitted to membership in the United Nations.
Fifty-second annual convention in Tokyo, Japan, with 23,378 Rotarians and members of their families from 74 countries in attendance. This was the first Rotary convention held in Asia and paid registrations exceeded the previous high mark by 7,417.
For scholastic year 1961-62, 136 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded students from 32 countries for study in 36 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 1,454 and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation (as of 15 June, 1961) to $7,712,2%.
As of 20 June, there were 10,994 Rotary clubs with 510,500 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1960-61, 325 new Rotary clubs in 45 countries received charters.
New pamphlet published in the field of community service enÂtitled Know Your Youth. The pamphlet consists of a perforated series of questionnaires, each designed to ascertain specific needs of youth in the community.
Rotary entered five new geographical regions with clubs in Gabon, Reunion, Somalia, Nigeria, and Mali Republic.
The first man in space was sent around the earth in 108 minutes.
Ratification by 12 nations of a treaty confirmed the renunciation of all territorial claims to Antarctica.
Fifty-third annual convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., with 22.302 Rotarians and members of their families from 73 counÂtries in attendance.
For scholastic year 1962-63, 136 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded students from 37 countries for study in 37 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 1,588 and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation (as of 15 June, 1962) to $8,647,542.
As of 1 July, there were 11,309 Rotary clubs with 526,000 RoÂtarians. During the Rotary year 1961-62, 325 new Rotary clubs in 48 countries received charters.
Rotary entered four new geographical regions with clubs in Bahamas, Zanzibar, Haiti, and New Caledonia.
Blueprint for new youth activity known as Interact made available to interested Rotary clubs. First Interact club organized in Melbourne, Fla., U.S.A.
Telstar communications satellite relays television pictures across the Atlantic.
Interact, a Rotary-sponsored service club for youth at the secondary level of school, was begun in October of this year.
Fifty-fourth annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., with 10,779 Rotarians and members of their families from 59 countries in attendance.
For scholastic year 1963-64, 140 Rotary Foundation Fellowships awarded students from 30 countries for study in 41 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 1,728 and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation (as of 15 June, 1963) to $9,611,885.
As of 21 June, 1963, there were 11,550 Rotary clubs with 540,-000 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1962-63, 257 new Rotary clubs in 40 countries received charters.
Rotary entered one new geographical region with a club in Sierra Leone.
New pamphlet published, entitled Guide to International Youth Projects, listing various plans for international youth exchange projects.
World Community Service projects develop.
By 30 June, 1963, 123 Interact clubs had been formed.
Fifty-fifth annual convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with 15.956 Rotarians and members of their families from 72 countries in attendance.
For scholastic year 1964-65, 126 Rotary Foundation FellowÂships awarded students from 33 countries for study in 37 countries other than their own. This brought total Fellowships awarded to 1,854 and total contributions to The Rotary Foundation (as of 30 June, 1964) to $10,783,026.
As of 30 June, 1964, there were 11,804 Rotary clubs with 554,500 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1963-64, 266 new Rotary clubs in 40 countries received charters.
Rotary entered two new geographical regions with clubs in Liberia and Mozambique.
A worldwide exchange of correspondence, publications, proÂgrams, and persons between matched districts and clubs was established.
Trade and Development Conference of 119 nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Rocket-borne camera photographs surface of the moon.
On 30 June, 1964, 435 Interact clubs existed.
Fifty-sixth annual convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.A., with 10,275 Rotarians and members of their families from 64 countries in attendance.
The Rotary Foundation launches three new activities: Group Study Exchange, Awards for Technical Training and Grants for Activities in Keeping with the Objective of The Rotary FoundaÂtion.
Rotary entered five new geographical regions with clubs in Bahrain, Brunei, Comoro Islands, Dahomey and Mauritius.
A rendezvous in space was achieved by two satellites.
As of 30 June, 1965, there were 12,114 Rotary clubs with 581,436 Rotarians. During the Rotary year 1964-65, 261 new Rotary clubs in 43 countries received charters.
By 30 June, 1965, there were 856 Interact clubs.
The fifty-seventh annual convention in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., with 14,774 Rotarians and members of their families from 67 countries in attendance.
An emphasis in international service unifying the matched district and club program, world community service and small-business clinics was recommended by the board of directors to all districts and clubs.
Rendezvous in space of two manned capsules was the first such maneuver in space and a record 14-day flight.
As of 30 June, 1966, there were 12,460 Rotary clubs with 599,945 Rotarians in 133 countries.
During the calendar year, Gibraltar was added to the list of RoÂtary countries and geographical regions.
There were 1,351 Interact clubs by 30 June, 1966.
The fifty-eighth annual convention in Nice, France, with 19,563 Rotarians and members of their families from 101 countries in attendance.
The Rotary Foundation launched a fourth new activityâ€” Undergraduate Scholarships for young men and women to study for one year at colleges or universities in countries other than their own.
As of 30 June, 1967, there were 12,906 Rotary clubs with 620,827 Rotarians in 134 countries.
The 1967 calendar year saw the French territory of Afars & Issas, Malta and Niger added to the roster of countries and geographical regions in which Rotary exists.
Interact clubs totaled 1,837 by 30 June, 1967.
The 59th annual convention was held in Mexico City, Mexico, with 12,187 Rotarians and guests registered from 80 countries.
The trustees of The Rotary Foundation decided that each district, each year, may receive one of the three educational awards of its own choosingâ€”Graduate Fellowships, Undergraduate ScholÂarships, Technical Trainingâ€”instead of a Graduate Fellowship one year and one of the other two in the alternate years.
By 30 June, 1968, there were 13,324 Rotary clubs and 633,000 Rotarians in 143 countries and geographical regions.
During the 1968 calendar year, countries or geographical regions added to the Rotary world were Afghanistan, British Virgin Islands. Faroe Islands. Sikkim. Saipan and Togo.
There were 2,221 Interact clubs by 30 June, 1968.
In March of 1968 a second Rotary-sponsored service organizaÂtion for young men and women, 18 to 28, was launched.
First trip around the moon; for the first time an astronaut in orbit passed from one space capsule to another.
The 60th annual convention was held in Honolulu. Hawaii, U.S.A. Attending were 14,684 Rotarians, their families and guests from 66 nations.
At their annual meeting, the trustees of The Rotary Foundation made women eligible for Technical Training awards, effective with the 1971-72 academic year; increased the number of allowable Group Study Exchange awards from 50 to 60 each year; and encouraged greater participation in the Special Grants program and provided additional funds for the program.
By 30 June, 1969, there were 13,853 Rotary clubs and 654,500 Rotarians in 147 countries and regions, with the addition of four areas including the Cook Islands, Seychelles,Tunisia, and American Samoa. The 540 Rotary clubs admitted during the 1968-69 Rotary year marked the best year in Rotary history in terms of new club growth. On 4 December, 1969, the number of Rotary clubs worldwide reached 14.000.
On July 20, 1969, U.S.A. astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first earthman to set foot on the moon. Millions of people around the world watched on television as he stepped from his spaceship, and heard his first words: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The 61st annual convention was held in Atlanta. Georgia, U.S.A. with 11.167 Rotarians, their families and guests from 69 countries in attendance. It enacted legislation which constitutes the council on legislation as the legislative body of Rotary International.
The Rotary Foundation had a record year in contributions, the number of awards given, and in Paul Harris Fellows. Because of increased income the Foundation was able to expand programs substantially for future years, allowing expenditures for awards in 1971-72 to increase by 70 per cent.
By 30 June, 1970, there were 14,364 Rotary clubs and 679,500 Rotarians in 149 countries and geographical regions with Western Samoa and Indonesia being added. The 530 Rotary clubs admitted during the 1969-70 Rotary year were located in 55 countries.
The 62nd annual convention, the first to be held in Australia, was in Sydney with 17.220 Rotarians, their families and guests from 74 countries in attendance. The meeting coincided with the 50th anniversary of Rotary in that country.
The Rotary Foundation received 688 new Paul Harris Fellows, more than in all previous years combined. The trustees also established a new program for a year’s study in another country for teachers of the mentally, physically, and educationally handiÂcapped. An extra 167 educational awards were given to 108 Rotary districts for their outstanding contributions to The Rotary FoundaÂtion in 1970-71. A change was initiated to allow married as well as single persons to participate as graduate fellows.
By 30 June, 1971, there were 14,890 Rotary clubs and 704,500 Rotarians in 149 countries and geographical regions. The 561 Rotary clubs admitted during the 1970-71 Rotary year exceed the record (540) for new clubs established in 1969-70. The new clubs were from 58 different countries.
The 63rd annual convention was held in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., with 14,269 Rotarians, their families and guests from 75 countries in attendance. The 365-member council on legislationâ€” comprised mainly of one representative of clubs in each districtâ€” constituted for the first time the legislative body of Rotary International.
The contributions to The Rotary Foundation in the fiscal year ending 30 June were over $3 million, including 1,000 Paul Harris Fellows. This year 108 Rotary districts throughout the world received a total of 164 extra educational awards and, for the first time, 25 awards will be given by the Foundation to teachers of the handicapped.
By 30 June, 1972, there were 15,375 Rotary clubs and 723,000 Rotarians in 149 countries and geographical regions. The 504 Rotary clubs admitted during the ]971-72 Rotary year were from 53 different countries.
Harry A. Stewart became general secretary following the retirement on 31 January of George R. Means.
The 64th annual convention was held in Lausanne. Switzerland, with 17,187 Rotarians, their families and guests from 103 countries in attendance. This is the largest number of countries to be represented at an international convention up to this time.
The Rotary Foundation received 1,900 new Paul Harris Fellows. Contributions for the fiscal year ending 30 June were $4,422,215. A total of 185 districts received 335 extra educational awards because of their outstanding contributions to The Rotary Foundation.
By 30 June, 1973, there were 15,748 Rotary clubs and 742,493 Rotarians in 150 countries and geographical regions. The 404 Rotary clubs admitted during the 1972-73 Rotary year were from 50 different countries.
The 65th annual convention was held in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., with 10,353 Rotarians, their families and guests from 71 countries in attendance. The 389-member council on legislationâ€”comprised mainly of one representative of clubs in each districtâ€”met for the second time as the legislative body of Rotary International.
The contributions to The Rotary Foundation in the fiscal year ending 30 June were $5,878,320, which is the average per capita contribution of $7.99. This is the highest on record. This record year also included 3,074 Paul Harris Fellows, 520 educational awardees, and 422 group study exchange participants.
By 30 June, 1974, there were 16,087 Rotary clubs and 758,750 Rotarians in 151 countries and geographical regions. The 379 Rotary clubs admitted during the 1973-74 Rotary year were from 41 different countries.
The 66th annual convention was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with 13,425 Rotarians, their families and guests from 87 countries in attendance.
The contributions to The Rotary Foundation in the fiscal year ending 30 June were $7.116,876, which is an average per capita contribution of $9.42. This is the highest on record. This record year also included 3,791 Paul Harris Fellows, 791 educational awardees, and 452 group study exchange participants.
By 30 June, 1975, there were 16,522 Rotary clubs and 774,500 Rotarians in 151 countries and geographical regions. The 464 Rotary clubs admitted during the 1974-75 Rotary year were from 48 countries.
The 67th annual convention was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A., with 14,554 Rotarians, their families and guests from 92 countries and geographical regions in attendance.
The contributions to The Rotary Foundation in the fiscal year ending 30 June were $8,385,319, which is the average per capita contribution of $10.78. This again surpassed all previous years, as does the record year which included 4,604 Paul Harris Fellows, 776 educational awardees, and 455 group study exchange particiÂpants.
By 30 June, 1976, there were 16,900 Rotary clubs and 791,500 Rotarians in 151 countries and geographical regions. The 408 Rotary clubs admitted during the 1975/76 Rotary year were from 50 countries.
Rotary’s onward march – A timeline of Rotary through 1976