Rotary History

The world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The name “Rotary” derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members’ offices.

Rotary’s popularity spread throughout the United States in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the organization adopted the name Rotary International a year later.

On February 9, 1951, fifteen men from Hicksville had the wisdom and foresight to form the Rotary Club of Hicksville, NY, which is the local chapter of Rotary International, an organization encompassing more then 29,500 clubs with 1.2 million members in 161 countries worldwide. The founding club members embraced the ideal of Rotary, “Service Above Self;”, and sought to foster the ideal of service in their personal, business, and community lives whenever possible.