History of Rotary


The First Club - Chicago


The world's first Rotary club was founded in Chicago on February 23, 1905.  It started with four men, Paul Harris and friends (seen below), meeting to re-live the fellowship they once knew in their smaller hometowns.  Originally started for friendship, the first Rotary club soon used their talents and resources to provide service to others in need.  Word spread of the club and soon the first club grew to over 30 members and other clubs around the nation were formed.   The name Rotary came from meeting in rotation at various places of business.


History of Rotary


Rotary Goes International


In 1911, the first club in Canda was formed then soon after, Rotary spread to Europe with clubs in England, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.  The National Association of Rotary Clubs, which became Rotary International in 1922.  Before reaching Rotary's 20th birthday, over 200 clubs were formed all around the globe - - Cuba, Asia, Spain, Africa, and Australia.



Women and Rotary


First admitted in 1987, women are the fastest-growing segment of Rotary membership with over 2,000 women club presidents and a quickly moving women in leadership roles.



Rotary Today

Today, there are 32,000 clubs world-wide who continue Paul Harris' vision of fellowship, friendship, while utilizing talents to provide service to the local the world community.