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A History of Rotary International

On February 23, 1905, a young attorney named Paul Harris formed the first Rotary Club in Chicago. His goal was to create an organization where business leaders could meet and together serve their community. The original club rotated their weekly meetings between the various business locations of Club members. This custom eventually led to the name "Rotary." As the organization expanded across the United States and around the world, Rotary was officially named Rotary International in 1922 and operated from its international headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

Since 1905, individuals of practically every nationality and religion have embraced the ideals established by that first club. Today, approximately 1.2 million people belong to more than 33,000 Rotary Clubs located in 200 different countries and geographical areas around the world.

You can learn more about Rotary International by going to www.rotary.org

A History of the Rotary Club of Salt Lake City

In 1911, six years after the founding of the first club in Chicago, Salt Lake City businessman Wesley E. King created Utah's first Rotary Club. The Rotary Club of Salt Lake City was chartered as the 24th club worldwide and is known by its members as "Club 24."

As Rotary flourished in Utah, clubs were formed throughout the state with the Ogden, Logan and Provo chapters being chartered in 1918-1919. Today, Utah's Rotary District 5420 boasts 46 clubs statewide, each representing service-minded professionals of all backgrounds.

In 1977, to support its local and international service programs, Club 24 established the Salt Lake City Rotary Foundation to accept charitable gifts and create an endowment to supplement the charitable services of the club. Currently, the Foundation has more than one million dollars in assets and in the past 10 years has granted money directly to numerous non-profit community organizations. For more information visit our Rotary Foundations page.

In honor of the club's first chartered meeting, Tuesday, January 31, 1911, hundreds of Rotarians and friends of Club 24 and the Utah District celebrated the beginning of Rotary's Centennial Year in Utah with a luncheon celebration on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011. Read about the celebrations as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune (here) and the Deseret News (here).