On May 4, 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled [case 481 U.S. 537 (1987)]  that Rotary clubs in the United States might not exclude women from membership on the basis of gender. [See also https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/481/537/.]


  • June 1987 issue of The Rotarian - The Supreme Court decision is first mentioned on page 7: “U.S. Supreme Court rules: Rotary must accept women members.” [Note that this just covered U.S. clubs.]
  • January 1988 issue of The Rotarian - See the Opinions, pages 51-52, about the pros and cons of women joining Rotary.
  • Rotary Year 1988-1989 – In 1988 the Rotary Club of Washington, DC admitted its first woman member, Ann M. Milne.
  • 1989 - The June 1990 issue of The Rotarian, p. 31, refers to the 1989 Rotary International Council on Legislation’s vote.

 We appreciate the contribution of the History and Archives Committee to this story.