Rotary Club of Birmingham

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The Rotary Club of Birmingham was organized as the 56th local chapter of the national organization on February 6, 1913 with 32 charter members. Architect Harry B. Wheelock circulated the idea of forming a chapter of the organization which had impressed him during a visit to Chicago.

As conceived, the club's membership would be limited to one man from each line of business, dedicated to philanthropic and civic enterprises under the motto "He profits most who serves best". The club is a member of the Rotary District 6860 which encompasses the northern half of Alabama. The Rotary Club of Birmingham meets weekly on Wednesdays for lunch at the Harbert Center.

Club member and Birmingham Post-Herald editor Angus McEachran began lobbying the club to lift its rule against admitting non-white members in 1978. After the chapter's board twice rejected his proposal by unanimous vote, he moved to bring the matter to a vote of all members on May 12, 1982. The result was 120-to-90 against changing the membership policy. McEachran and Judge J. Foy Guin soon resigned from the group.

As part of their centennial celebration in 2013, the Rotary Club of Birmingham committed $2.5 million toward the construction of a "Rotary Trail" in the 1st Avenue Cut between 20th and 24th Street South.

References

  • Holder, May Teressa (October 1915) "The Rotary Club". The Birmingham Magazine.
  • Hester, Harry D. "Early History of Rotary in District 6860" - accessed October 4, 2007
  • Stuart, Reginald (May 31, 1982) "In Changing Birmingham, Rotary Club Votes to Stay White." The New York Times Section A, p. 6