Little Bits of History

The Rotary Club

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 23, 2010

The Rotary Club February 23, 1905: Paul Harris, an attorney, and three other businessmen form the Rotary Club over lunch in Chicago, Illinois. The Rotary Club was the first service club in the world and was named because the original members rotated for meetings in each of their offices.

The four goals of the service clubs are to1) develop opportunities for service; 2) hold members to high ethical standards in business, recognize worthiness of all occupations, dignify each Rotarian’s occupation as a way to serve; 3) apply the ideal of service to each member in personal, business, and community life; and 4) advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace through fellowship of professionals united in service.

From this meeting of four men has sprung Rotary International with 1.2 million members in 32,000 clubs spread across 167 countries. At the outset, women had their own community called the Inner Wheel, but were finally accepted into the Rotary in 1989. They now make up about 12% of the membership.

One of the clubs most notable global projects is Polio-Plus – donating both money and time to eradicating polio worldwide. It is interesting to note that on this same date, February 23, 1954, the first mass distribution of the polio vaccine was distributed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With the help of the Rotary Club, incidence of polio is down 99% with only four countries still experiencing widespread polio outbreaks: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

“Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”  – Four Way Test of Rotary International

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.” – William James

“The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.” – Leo Rosten

Also on this day, in 1820 the Cato Street Conspiracy came to naught.

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One Response

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  1. Gutenberg Bible « Little Bits of History said, on February 23, 2011 at 6:19 am

    […] on this day: The Rotary Club – In 1905, the Rotary Club was formed. Cato Street Conspiracy – In 1820, the conspiracy fell […]


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