"Whatever rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves." — Paul P. Harris
In honor of Rotary's 111th birthday, I thought it'd be a good idea to talk about how Rotary first started. Rotary International was founded 111 years ago, in 1905, by an attorney named Paul P. Harris. He, along with Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey, first organized the club as a club for professionals and businessmen. The first Rotary club meeting was held in Harris' office in Chicago, and they decided to name the club "Rotary" because of how they rotated meeting places. Rotary soon became the world's first service club in 1907 when it began its first service project, the construction of public toilets in Chicago. More and more people joined Rotary, and Rotary grew, and spread throughout the US and to other countries. Rotary's name changed to "International Association of Rotary Clubs" in 1912, and then again "Rotary International" in 1922 to properly acknowledge the Rotary clubs in other countries. Today, over a hundred years from its conception, Rotary International is now comprised of 1.2 million Rotarians in 35,000 clubs all over the world. Happy Birthday Rotary!
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