Rotary International -
Very Quick History
The world's first service club,
the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed
on 23 February 1905 by Paul
P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional
club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small
towns of his youth. The name "Rotary" derived
from the early practice of rotating meetings among members'
Rotary's popularity spread throughout the United States
in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from
San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had
been formed on six continents, and the organization adopted
the name Rotary International a year later.
As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving
the professional and social interests of club members.
Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing
their talents to help serve communities in need. The
organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed
in its principal motto: Service Above Self. Rotary also
later embraced a code of ethics, called The 4-Way Test,
that has been translated into hundreds of languages.
For more information on ROtary International
and its programs and service projects, visit
the Rotary International web site.