A BRIEF HISTORY OF ROTARY
On February 23, 1905, Chicago lawyer, Paul Harris called three friends to a meeting what he had in mind was a club that would kindle fellowship among members of the business community. It was an idea that grew from his desire to fi nd within the large city the kind of friendly spirit that he knew in the villages where he had grown up.
Room 711 of the unity building at 127 North Dearborn street in downtown Chicago, Illinois was the site of rotary’s first meeting on February 23 1905. At that ti me, it was the office of Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer and one of the founding members of the organization.
The four businessmen didn’t decide then and there to call themselves a Rotary club, but their get-together was, in fact the first meeting of the World’s fi rst Rotary club. As they continued to meet, adding others to the group they rotated their meetings among the member’s places of business, hence the name.
Since 1905, the ideals of Paul Harris and his friends have been accepted by people of practically all nationalities and many political and religious beliefs. Today Rotary clubs are found all over the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians in more than 32,000 clubs found in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
THE IDEALS OF ROTARY
“Rotary is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocati ons and help foster goodwill and peace in the world.”
ROTARY’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES
THROUGHOUT ROTARY’S HISTORY, several basic principles have been developed to guide Rotarians in achieving the ideal of service and high ethical standards.