February 23, 2019, Rotary celebrates its 114th anniversary!

February 23, 1905 -  Chicago attorney Paul Harris forms the first Rotary Club with members Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey, “so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members." https://www.rotary.org/en/about-rotary/history 
 
"Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves.”—Paul Harris 
 
 
Rotary History in Video: “The Boys of 1905” about the Club founders - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ2T1G1WWTo 
 
 
     
    Room 711, a re-creation of the office where Paul Harris met with three acquaintances to start a club
    based on “mutual cooperation and informal friendship.” 
     
    • 1908-1909 – New Rotary Clubs were formed in San Francisco, CA (club #2), Oakland, CA (#3), Seattle, WA (#4), and Los Angeles, CA (#5). 
    • August 1910 – Rotarians held their first convention in Chicago. The 16 clubs that existed at that time united to form the National Association of Rotary Clubs.
    The Rotary Club of Washington, DC
    Beginnings
     
    • 11 July 1912 – The Rotary Club of Washington, DC was founded as the 46th Rotary Club to join the International Association of Rotary Clubs, reflecting the addition of clubs in other countries. Beginning with 16 members, the DC Rotary Club’s lunch meetings were held at the Ebbitt House at 14th and F Streets NW in the nation’s capital. [Note: In the centennial booklet it says they met at the Commercial Club, but in The Rotarian magazine issue dated October 1912, the Washington, DC club’s luncheons are listed as being “held at the Ebbitt House, 14th and F Sts., N.W.” The December 1912 issue says “the dinner of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., held at the Commercial Club...,” but later notes again that “the Rotary hotels in Washington are the Ebbitt House and the National Hotel, at the former of which are held the club luncheons.” This is reiterated in The Rotarian of Feb. 1913 “Luncheons held at the Ebbitt House, 14th and F Sts., N.W., every two weeks.”]
    • December 1912 – The Rotary Club of Washington, DC is featured in Dec. 1912 issue (p. 42) of The Rotarian in an article written by Glenn C. Mead. He described it as follows: “I have alluded to the Washington Club as a young club and yet its membership is so substantial, both in numbers and character, that it impresses me as if it had been in existence a long time. You can not (sic) meet and mingle with the Washington Rotarians without feeling that they are the salt of the earth and the bone and sinew of business.”  
     
    CITATIONS: Unless otherwise noted, all information and quotes provided in this timeline are courtesy of The Rotary Club of Washington, DC’s A Century of Service 1912-2012 commemorative booklet.
     
    Thank you to the D.C. Rotary Club  History and Archives Committee for its contribution to this story!