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Convention Atlanta
RI Convention of 1917
RI Convention of 1970
Also see "Early Beginnings"
Atlanta Rotary
On June 18, 1913, in Woodrow Wilson's old law office in downtown Atlanta, four young businessmen met to form a local Rotary Club. They were Henry W. Grady, Jr., son of the renowned editor and orator; Evelyn Harris, son of Joel Chandler Harris of "Uncle Remus" fame; Howard Geldert, insurance executive and leader in boys work; and Ivan Allen, businessman, organizer and community leader.

The first invitational meeting was held on July 20, 1913, in the Empire Building, once the Citizens and Southern National Bank headquarters, with 38 men attending.

The Rotary Club of Atlanta has sponsored ten other clubs:

The Rotary Club of Atlanta has hosted two International Conventions: the first in 1917 with 2,588 attending and the second in 1970 with 10,803 attending.

Our club has produced one Rotary International President, Albert "Bert" S. Adams (1919-20).


Georgia "113" Peaches
Atlanta 79
Savannah 95
Macon 104
Rockmart 5000
Early Beginnings

Savannah 1914
Marietta 1919
Dalton 1937
Decatur 1938
Covington 1939
East Point 1939
Buckhead 1951
Roswell 1951
Brookwood 1956
West End 1958

Ivan Allen, historian of the Atlanta Club, introduces his book as a brief history. The 377page story of the Atlanta Club's first 25 years is anything but brief. It is a wonderful resource for Rotary historians that as the author hoped for would be not only a souvenir but also a source of guidance and inspiration for the future.

Like the first Rotary Club, it begins with four young fellows meeting in an office. The venue was President Woodrow Wilson's old law office and the date was June 18th 1913. Irwin Allen, Henry Grady, Evelyn Harris and Howard Geldert decided then to organize a club. All but one of those invited by the four attended the first meeting at the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.


Rotary was not the first Lunch Club in Atlanta "that distinction befell the Ad Club- initially an organization of professional advertising men that had spread to encompass civic and business leaders. Many of the initial Rotarians were members of the Ad Club but became disenchanted with the ruthless ethos of the advertising professionals. These young businessmen wished to express their civic and charitable interests. The Ad Club had become a booster-type organization "Business Babbitts" as Allen described them.

Further south, in Jacksonville, Florida there was a Rotary Club (the first in the southeast). Some Rotarians, along with their colleagues from the Texas Clubs, attended the Baltimore Convention of the National Advertising Association. The young Atlanta businessmen found what they were looking for at Baltimore. The Atlanta men learned of a new type of organization for the public-spirited professional.

In fact, thirteen of these young Ad Club members had started an informal organization themselves "the Thirteen Club in which they had developed the concepts of acquaintance and fellowship that Rotary promoted. They were Rotarians before they had formed a Rotary Club! They were willing recruits and joined the original four to form the Atlanta Rotary Club.

A first meeting was called for on July 2nd 1913 with a letter sent out to potential members and signed by Allen, Grady, Ben Lee Crew, R L Foreman and, a certain, A S Adams. On that date, Hubert W Anderson was elected President and Henry Grady the first Vice-President. There were 38 Charter Members of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. The Club asked for affiliation to the International Association on July 20th and received their Charter (#79) on August 1st.

Source

Rotary in Atlanta " The first Twenty-Five Years- by Ivan Allen 1939
[This book is a limited edition (no.39) and is signed by the author.]


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