the Children of the World
Kiwanis started in 1914 and
is now a worldwide movement of several affiliated groups. Central to these
are the local independent Kiwanis and associated Kiwanis family of clubs, of which Rosemead Kiwanis is but one.
The International headquarters of Kiwanis are located in Indianapolis, Indiana,
which has its own website, located at http://www.kiwanis.org/
OBJECTS OF KIWANIS
down on this page, following the "Objects of Kiwanis," is a detailed history
of the development of Kiwanis through the end of the 20th century)
The following six "Objects
of Kiwanis International" were adopted at the Kiwanis International convention
in 1924, held in Denver, CO, and have remained the guiding principles of all
Kiwanis Family clubs ever since:
TO GIVE primacy to the human and spiritual, rather
than to the material values of life.
TO ENCOURAGE the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
TO PROMOTE the adoption and the application of higher social, business, and
TO DEVELOP by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and
TO PROVIDE through Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring
friendships, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities.
TO COOPERATE in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high
idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism,
and good will.
The following history of Kiwanis was found on
Its author is unknown but appears to have been
compiled in preparation for the year 2000 International Convention. Slight
modifications from the original have been made for clarity.
1914-1927 The Formative
1928-1941 Depression to
1942-1953 Emphasis on
and International Expansion
1968-1981 KEY Clubs and
1982-1999 Dealing with
[ 1914 ]
Allen S. Browne, a professional
organizer for fraternal groups, has an idea for a new kind of club and begins
recruiting business and professional men in Detroit, Michigan. Joe Prance, a
merchant tailor, is the first to sign up and becomes "the first Kiwanian."
Browne's proposed name for the group, the Benevolent Order of Brothers, is
rejected, however. As one member commented, "Who wants to belong to an
organization called BOB?" A committee consults with a local historian, who tells
them about a phrase in the local American Indian language: Nunc Kee-wanis, which
means, approximately, "We get together" or "We trade." The club adopts an
abbreviated version of this phrase, Kiwanis.
[ 1915 ]
January 21 becomes the official birthday of
Kiwanis when the Detroit group receives a corporate charter from the State of
Michigan. Membership in the Detroit #1 club quickly grows to more than 200. A
second club is organized in Cleveland. Both the Detroit and Cleveland Kiwanians
sponsor projects to benefit disadvantaged children -- a service slant that will
become an enduring theme of Kiwanis.
[ 1916 ]
Thanks to Allen Browne's energetic organizing
and member contacts in other cities, Kiwanis grows to 32 clubs -- including the
Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, "the club that made Kiwanis international."
The Cleveland club calls a convention. A basic
constitution is adopted and George F. Hixson, of Rochester, New York, is elected as
the first International President.
[ 1917 ]
Many more clubs are organized.
The second annual convention is held in Detroit, and George Hixson is elected to
a second term -- the only International President to serve more than one year. A
"K" with the words "Kiwanis Club" enclosed in a double circle becomes the
official symbol. The first rumblings of discord are heard from two contending
groups: those who support Allen Browne's concept of an organization that
primarily provides mutual business benefits for members, and those who believe
that Kiwanis' long-term success depends on a higher primary ideal: community
[ 1918 ]
10,000. The first Kiwanis headquarters, a two-room office, is opened in Chicago,
Illinois, with O. Sam Cummings serving as the first International Secretary. The
convention is held in Providence, Rhode Island. Perry S. Patterson of Chicago is
[ 1919 ]
The debate over the organization's primary
purpose, personal business advantage or community service, reaches a climax at
the convention in Birmingham, Alabama. As a professional organizer, Browne owns
rights in the organization. The anti-Browne majority offers to buy him out and
Browne names his price: $17,500. Members and clubs quickly subscribe the sum on
the convention floor. Kiwanis "buys itself" and service triumphs over mutual
back-scratching. Henry J. Elliott, Montreal, Quebec, is the first Canadian
[ 1920 ]
A record year for growth ends with 265 clubs
and 28,500 members. The Kiwanis Motto, "We Build," is proposed by Kiwanis
Magazine editor Roe Fulkerson and adopted. Portland, Oregon, hosts the
International Convention. J. Mercer Barnett, Birmingham, Alabama, is elected
[ 1921 ]
Kiwanis officially adopts policies that
emphasize community service in the areas of urban-rural cooperation, public
affairs, and underprivileged children. O. Sam Cummings is succeeded by Fred C.
W. Parker as International Secretary. The
convention is in Cleveland, Ohio. Harry E. Karr, Baltimore, Maryland, is elected
[ 1922 ]
Administrative policies are adopted to guide
clubs in their activities. In later years, these will evolve into annual Themes
and Objectives. Kiwanis observes US-Canada Day for the first time, which will
later become Canada-US Goodwill Week, the oldest continuing Kiwanis observance,
held as he first full week in April.
The first Kiwanis districts are formed. The convention is held in Toronto, and
George H. Ross, Toronto, Ontario, is elected President.
[ 1923 ]
Kiwanians donate $44,500 to finance a memorial
to US President Warren G. Harding, who was a charter member of the Marion, Ohio, club.
The convention is in Atlanta, Georgia. Edmund F. Arras, Columbus, Ohio, is
[ 1924 ]
A constitutional convention is held in Denver,
Colorado. A more detailed constitution is adopted, which creates the
International Council (composed of the International Board members and District
Governors) and defines the functions of major committees. The six "Permanent
Objects of Kiwanis" are adopted, Kiwanis International becomes the official
name. Victor M. Johnson, Rockford, Illinois, is elected President.
[ 1925 ]
The Kiwanis Club of Sacramento sponsors a club
for "KEY boys" in the local high school. This first KEY Club will eventually
grow into the world's largest service club for high school students, but for the
next decade the KEY Club idea will spread slowly, at first in California and
then other states (see 1939, 1946). The International Council meets for the
first time and the new District Governors jointly plan their Kiwanis year. The
Harding International Goodwill Memorial is dedicated in Vancouver, British
Columbia. The convention is held in St. Paul, Minnesota. John H. Moss,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is elected President.
[ 1926 ]
Membership nears 100,000. The Montreal
convention is the largest to date, with 5,248 members from 1,546 clubs. Ralph A.
Amerman, Scranton, Pennsylvania, is elected President.
[ 1927 ]
Kiwanis service achievements
become increasingly important, with youth work, public affairs, and rural-urban
cooperation stressed. US Kiwanians join with Canadian members in celebrating the
Dominion of Canada's Diamond Jubilee. The International Board authorizes field
service contacts to assess the problems and opportunities faced by local clubs.
The convention is held in Memphis, Tennessee. Henry C. Heinz, Atlanta, Georgia,
is elected President.
[ 1928 ]
The present leadership training
system is established, with District Governors trained by Kiwanis International,
Lieutenant Governors trained by the Governors, and club presidents trained by
Lieutenant Governors. The convention is held in Seattle, Washington. Past
International Secretary O. Sam Cummings, Dallas, Texas, is elected President,
the only Kiwanian to serve in both of the top leadership and staff positions on
a regular basis (see 1986).
[ 1929 ]
A survey reveals that 95 percent of all clubs
are sponsoring projects to serve underprivileged children. The stock market
collapse of October, 1928, begins to affect business conditions. Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
hosts the convention. Horace W. McDavid, Decatur, Illinois, is elected
[ 1930 ]
The worldwide depression creates hard times for
Kiwanis. Total membership declines for the first time, by 1,000 to 102,811. In
response, Kiwanis cuts costs, strengthens leadership and service programs. The
convention is held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Raymond M. Crossman, Omaha,
Nebraska, is elected President.
[ 1931 ]
Membership declines by a further 5,000,
reducing the total below the 100,000-mark. But only one club is lost. Youth work
is expanded beyond the "underprivileged" category with a new and broader
objective emphasizing "Boys and Girls Work." Miami, Florida, hosts the
convention. William O. Harris, Los Angeles, California, is elected President.
[ 1932 ]
Kiwanis adopts an active service program to
combat the depression. Programs include morale building, support for schools,
employment stabilization, economy in government, and the promotion of good
citizenship. The convention is held in Detroit. Carl E. Endicott, Huntington,
Indiana, is elected President.
[ 1933 ]
The Kiwanis-originated "I am an American Day"
is recognized by the US President and Congress. Membership reaches a low
of 79,589 -- 25,000 less than the pre-depression high. The convention is held in
Los Angeles, California. Joshua L. Johns, Appleton, Wisconsin, is elected
[ 1934 ]
Membership begins to increase again. At the end
of the year, there are 4,000 more Kiwanians than at the beginning. The
convention returns to Toronto. William J. Carrington, MD, Atlantic City, New
Jersey, is elected President.
[ 1935 ]
The 20th anniversary is celebrated with the
placement of the first Kiwanis Peace Marker on the US-Canada border. A new
program is adopted for "Support of Churches in their Spiritual Aims." There are
1,858 clubs and 86,000 members. The convention is held in San Antonio, Texas.
Harper Gatton, Madisonville, Kentucky, is elected President.
[ 1936 ]
US President Franklin Roosevelt invites
delegates at the International Convention in Washington, DC, to the White House
Rose Garden and lauds Kiwanis for its active role in fighting the depression.
The Kiwanis Club of Pullman, Washington, sponsors "Circle K House" at Washington
State University, a kind of housing scholarship program for students that will
eventually lead to the creation of Circle K International (see 1947). A.
Copeland Callen, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, is elected President.
[ 1937 ]
The Theme, "Kiwanis Builds Better Communities,"
is exemplified by 30,000 individual club projects during the year. The present
method of tabulating club activities is begun. The convention is held in
Indianapolis, Indiana. F. Trafford Taylor, KC, St.
Boniface, Manitoba, is elected President, and proposes the creation of a Kiwanis
[ 1938 ]
Club service activities increase 17 percent.
The 2,000th Kiwanis club is organized. The convention is held in San Francisco,
California. H. G. Hatfield, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is elected President.
[ 1939 ]
Canada enters World War II as a British ally.
Kiwanis begins observing US-Canada Goodwill Week annually instead of biennially.
The Kiwanis International Foundation is legally incorporated. Eight KEY Clubs in
Florida meet and organize the Florida Association of KEY Clubs, the seed of the
first KEY Club district. The convention is held in Boston, Massachusetts.
Bennett O. Knudson, Albert Lea, Minnesota, is elected President.
[ 1940 ]
Kiwanis marks its 25th anniversary with a
birthday party in Detroit. Twenty-five silver dollars decorating the cake are
auctioned for $625, the first funds of the new International Foundation. A
wreath is placed on the grave of Joe Prance, the first Kiwanian, and a plaque is
erected at Detroit's Griswold Hotel, site of the first club's meetings. Canadian
clubs provide entertainment, food, and other services for Canadians in uniform.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, hosts the convention. Mark A. Smith, Thomaston, Georgia,
is elected President.
[ 1941 ]
International Secretary Fred Parker retires
after twenty years and is succeeded by O. E. Peterson, a YMCA executive. The
convention is held in Atlanta, Georgia. In December the United States enters the
war. International President Charles S. Donley, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
mobilizes Kiwanis clubs via a nationwide radio broadcast, then calls a meeting
of leaders from all the major service clubs to organize a combined war effort.
[1942 - 1953]
Emphasis on Patriotism
[ 1942 ]
The last full convention during
the war, in Cleveland, Ohio, adopts the Theme, "Morale Building for the War
Effort." Kiwanis clubs collect scrap rubber and metal, organize blood drives,
sponsor victory gardens, entertain troops, and watch over dependents of
servicemen overseas. Fred G. McAlister, QC, London, Ontario, is elected
[ 1943 ]
Kiwanis begins publishing a newsy monthly
bulletin called "Contact" to keep in touch with the 15,000 Kiwanians in military
service. A Wartime Conference is held in Chicago in place of a full
International Convention, and participants pledge Kiwanis to "Victory! By United
Effort -- By Individual Service." Donald B. Rice, Oakland, California, is
[ 1944 ]
Membership reaches a new high of 132,000 and
Kiwanians work for a common goal: "All Out for Victory!" Kiwanis is represented
by official observers at the United Nations Conference. A second Wartime
Conference is held in Chicago. Ben Dean, Grand Rapids, Michigan, is elected
[ 1945 ]
Wartime service totals show that Kiwanians sold
more than $2 billion worth of war bonds and stamps, collected more than 3
million tons of scrap, contacted more than 6 million members of the armed forces
by letter and other means. The Legion of Honor is
established for Kiwanians who have been members for 25 years or more. The last
Wartime Conference is held in Chicago. Hamilton Holt, Macon, Georgia, is elected
[ 1946 ]
Membership increases by 15,000 in the first
year of peace. Clubs are organized in Alaska and the Yukon Territory. KEY Club
International becomes a fully recognized part of the Kiwanis program with
official structure and a staff administrator at
Kiwanis International headquarters. Atlantic City, New Jersey, hosts the first
postwar International Convention. Jay N. Emerson, Pullman, Washington, is
[ 1947 ]
A boom year for Kiwanis with more than 200 new
clubs organized, including three in Hawaii. The organization is saddened,
however, when International President Jay Emerson dies on the eve of a big
Chicago convention. A "Circle K Club" is organized at Carthage College by the
Kiwanis Club of Carthage, Illinois (see 1954). Charles W. Armstrong, MD,
Salisbury, North Carolina, is elected President.
[ 1948 ]
In the postwar era, Kiwanis places increasing
stress on promoting democratic values and political freedoms. A pamphlet series
is published, "It's Fun to Live in America" and "It's Great to be a Canadian,"
and more than 16 million copies are distributed by clubs. Los Angeles,
California, hosts the convention. J. Belmont Mosser, Saint Marys, Pennsylvania,
is elected President.
[ 1949 ]
The Freedoms Foundation cites the Kiwanis
pamphlet series. Kiwanis sponsors its first Congressional Dinner in Washington,
DC, honoring members who are serving in high positions of the US government. The
first Kids Day is conducted with 1,239 clubs participating. The 3,000th club is
organized. Atlantic City again hosts the convention. J. Hugh Jackson, Palo Alto,
California, is elected President.
[ 1950 ]
Both US and Canadian clubs respond to the flood
disaster in the Red River Valley. Newfoundland joins the Dominion of Canada, and
a Kiwanis club is organized in the new province. The International Board sets a
40th anniversary goal of 4,000 clubs and 250,000 members. The convention is held
in Miami. Don H. Murdoch, Winnipeg, Manitoba, is elected President.
[ 1951 ]
The Korean conflict finds Kiwanians responding
again to the war effort. Many club projects reflect the growing concern over
communism and the threat to democratic freedoms. The convention is held in St.
Louis, Missouri. Claude B. Hellmann, Baltimore City, Maryland, is elected
[ 1952 ]
US clubs work alone or with other organizations
in a Ballot Battalion campaign to stimulate public awareness of basic issues and
get out the vote for the national elections. Seattle, Washington, hosts the
convention. Walter J. L. Ray, Detroit, Michigan, is elected President.
[ 1953 ]
The largest International Convention to date
attracts 11,532 delegates to Madison Square Garden in New York City. Circle K is
expanding, and hundreds of Kiwanis clubs join in support of Radio Free Europe.
Donald T. Forsythe, Carthage, Illinois, is elected President.
[1954 - 1967]
Modernization and International Expansion
[ 1954 ]
More new clubs are built than in
any previous year since 1922, and membership nears the quarter-million mark. A
second series of pamphlets intended to strengthen the national heritage reaches
a circulation of 6 million. 2,000 clubs sponsor Kids Day programs. 1,400 radio
stations are using Kiwanis religious radio recordings. In September, 114 members
of 35 Circle K clubs meet at Carthage College, Illinois; officers are elected
and recognition sought by Kiwanis International. The convention is held in
Miami. Don E. Engdahl, Spokane, Washington, is elected President.
[ 1955 ]
With the Theme "Forward In Kiwanis," a record
265 new clubs are organized, including Number 4,000. Giving new life to an old
service theme, Kiwanis sponsors the first Farm-City Week to promote
understanding between the rural and urban sectors of society. Circle K
International is granted official recognition by the Kiwanis International Board
as a sponsored-youth affiliate. After almost 40 years of renting ever-expanding
office space, plans are made for Kiwanis to own its own headquarters. Cleveland,
Ohio, hosts the convention. J. A. Raney, Indianapolis, Indiana, is elected
[ 1956 ]
Membership surpasses the quarter-million mark.
Kiwanis Kids Day events throughout the US and Canada attract more than 1.3
million youngsters. A site at 101 E. Erie Street in Chicago is purchased for the
planned Kiwanis building. The convention is held in San Francisco. Reed C. Culp,
Salt Lake City, Utah, is elected President.
[ 1957 ]
To equip youngsters with the skills and
knowledge needed for living in the Air Age, Kiwanis embarks on the "Living in
the Air Age Program" with the Civil Air Patrol and the Air Force. US Vice
President Richard Nixon is the main speaker at the International Convention
in Atlantic City. The Kiwanis International
Foundation has languished since its founding in 1939, but a startling
announcement is made at the convention: [Former radio personality] Jimmie
Fidler's International Foundation for Underprivileged Children is being
dissolved, and the KIF will receive the remaining corpus of $120,000 to support
the continued observance of Kids Day. Architects for the new Kiwanis General
Office Building are engaged and drawings approved. H. Park Arnold, Glendale,
California, is elected President.
[ 1958 ]
The 44th International Convention is held in
Chicago to witness the laying of the cornerstone for the new General Office. KEY
Club membership reaches 41,000 in 1,800 high schools. Convention delegates
establish the office of International President-Elect to provide a year of
planning and preparation before each President assumes office and to share the
current President's growing burden of duties. Kenneth B. Loheed, Toronto,
Ontario, is elected President.
[ 1959 ]
The General Office staff moves into the new
Kiwanis International Building, which wins architectural honors for design. The
American Cancer Society, the National Safety Council, and the US Air Force also
honor Kiwanis for service programs. A new "Citizenship Quotient" program is
designed to inculcate good citizenship in Americans and Canadians. The
convention is held in Dallas, Texas. Albert J. Tully, Mobile, Alabama, is
[ 1960 ]
Membership climbs to 260,000 in Kiwanis' 45th
year. The Citizenship Quotient program asks Americans and Canadians to rate
their "CQ" with almost a million leaflets and 15,000 posters. KEY Clubs have
49,000 members, and Circle K counts 5,500 collegiate members. Miami Beach,
Florida, hosts the convention. J. O. Tally Jr., Fayetteville, North Carolina, is
[ 1961 ]
The convention in Toronto is the largest in
history with almost 14,000 registrants. In a historic action, convention
delegates approve Kiwanis extension outside the United States and Canada. With
the cooperation of the National Recreation Association and a grant from Life
Magazine, Kiwanis conducts a 1,000-club survey to determine the national
purpose. I. R. Witthuhn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is elected President.
[ 1962 ]
New club building records two firsts: the
5,000th club is chartered and the first clubs outside the two Founding Nations
is organized in Mexico and the Bahamas. To increase the efficiency of handling
membership records, magazine subscriptions, and other data-processing tasks, the
International Board approves the installation of a substantial IBM computer
system. The convention is held in Denver. Merle H. Tucker, Albuquerque, New
Mexico, is elected President.
[ 1963 ]
The international extension program brings
Kiwanis to Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. An ambitious program,
"You and the Law," soon results in the distribution of more than a million
booklets to high school students. Atlantic City hosts the convention. Charles A.
Swain, Cape May, New Jersey, is elected President.
[ 1964 ]
Kiwanis distributes a radio forum titled
"Inquiry" in three 13-week segments. Kiwanis' first membership film, "The Man
Who Wears the K," is produced. The Freedom Leadership Program is developed.
Japan, Norway, Iceland, Jamaica, the Philippines, and the Netherlands Antilles
join the Kiwanis family of nations. Los Angeles, California, hosts the
convention. Edward B. Moylan Jr., Miami, Florida, is elected President.
[ 1965 ]
The Golden Anniversary year of Kiwanis is
marked by a birthday party on January 21, with 4,000 Kiwanians and guests at
Detroit's Cobo Hall. Many newspapers and broadcasting stations report on Kiwanis
during the year, and the observance wins public relations awards for its plan
and success. The Kiwanis International Foundation establishes the Tablet of
Honor. The first Kiwanis clubs are built in Puerto Rico, France, and the
Netherlands. The convention is held in New York City. Edward C. Keefe, Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma, is elected President.
[ 1966 ]
In November, Kiwanis' Canadian Golden
Anniversary is celebrated with a banquet in Hamilton, Ontario. Kiwanis initiates
the "We Care" program to honor American servicemen called to duty in Viet Nam.
In October O. E. Peterson retires after 25 years as International Secretary. He
is succeeded by R. P. Merridew, a broadcasting executive who has served as
president of both the Detroit #1 and Cleveland #2 clubs. The convention is held
in Portland, Oregon. Dr. R. Glenn Reed Jr., Marietta, Georgia, is elected
[ 1967 ]
A net loss of 250 members -- the first net
decline since 1934 -- raises concern and produces the "Let's Match" program to
match Kiwanis manpower to community needs. The first Robert P. Connelly Medal
for Heroism is presented at the Houston convention to Kiwanian Connelly's widow.
The Farm-City Week observance wins honors as one of the outstanding public
affairs programs of the year. First clubs are built in Sweden, New Zealand,
Colombia, Australia, Italy, Panama, Korea, and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
James M. Moler, Charles Town, West Virginia, is elected President.
[1968 - 1981] KEY
Clubs and Women's Rights
[ 1968 ]
The "Let's Match" program is
complemented with "Operation Prevention and Retention" to keep current members
while adding new ones. Modest annual growth resumes, but the late 1960s and
early 1970s will be marked by sluggish growth in the 1% to 2% range. Convention
delegates in Toronto adopt an Administrative Year plan that will result in club,
district, and international leadership assuming office at the same time, October
1st each year. In partnership with the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge,
Kiwanis sponsors the first annual observance of Family Reunion Day. The Kiwanis
International Foundation conducts its first Birthday Gift Campaign, which will
soon garner more than $100,000 per year from clubs and individual Kiwanians.
First clubs are built in Argentina and Trinidad-Tobago. Harold M. Heimbaugh,
Hollywood, California, is elected President.
[ 1969 ]
Kiwanis implements its first Major Emphasis
Program, "Operation Drug Alert." Kiwanis International-Europe is organized to
provide communication and mutual support among the growing number of European
clubs. Provisional districts are established in the Far East. First clubs are
built in Costa Rica and Luxembourg. Miami Beach, Florida, hosts the convention.
Robert F. Weber, Detroit, Michigan, is elected President.
[ 1970 ]
The Detroit convention brings Kiwanis "Back to
the Birthplace" to mark the 55th anniversary and honor the last living founder,
Harry Young. Operation Drug Alert receives many awards, and thousands of
club-sponsored projects make ODA one of Kiwanis' most successful service
programs. First clubs are built in Hong Kong, Ecuador, and New Caledonia. T. R.
Johnson, Denver, Colorado, is elected President.
[ 1971 ]
The "Distinguished Governor" program in
instituted to recognize leaders whose districts meet tough criteria for
programming and administration. Distinguished Club President and Distinguished
Lieutenant Governor honors serve the same purpose
at club and division levels. A net loss of 400 members encourages continued
emphasis on growth programs. First clubs are built in Guyana, Bermuda,
Singapore, and Martinique. The convention is held in San Francisco. Wes H.
Bartlett, Algona, Iowa, is elected President.
[ 1972 ]
The Kiwanis International Board approves Circle
K's petition to permit women's membership in clubs, a decision that reflects the
high enrollment of women on college campuses and the decline of gender-exclusive
roles among the collegiate generation. The convention is held in Atlantic City.
Lorin J. BadsKEY, North Webster, Indiana, is elected President.
[ 1973 ]
Kiwanis marks its 10th anniversary in Europe,
and a delegation of North American Kiwanians visits the first three clubs, in
Vienna, Basle, and Brussels. The Montreal convention sets an attendance record.
A constitutional amendment is proposed to open Kiwanis to women members, but it
receives little support. First clubs are built in Vanuatu and England. William
M. Eagles, MD, Richmond, Virginia, is elected President.
[ 1974 ]
Overseas growth continues apace, and delegates
to the convention in Denver approve a special 50-cent dues increase to finance
the administration of international extension. Delegates again turn down women's
membership. Kiwanis International revokes the charters of two clubs in New York
and Colorado for admitting women members, and the New York club takes the issue
to state court. "The Volunteer and the Nation" is chosen as the theme for
Kiwanis involvement in the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. First
clubs are built in Guam, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Barbados. Roy W. Davis,
Chicago, Illinois, is elected President.
[ 1975 ]
More new clubs are built than in any previous
year. KEY Club celebrates its 50th year. "Panorama," a 66-unit, 30-minute radio
show is carried by 81 stations. An American Revolution Bicentennial radio
series, "Sounds of Glory," begins broadcast in the United States. The Builders
Club program for junior high school students is created. First clubs are built
in the Cayman Islands and Venezuela. The convention is held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ted R. Osborn, Lexington, Kentucky, is elected President, the first former KEY
Club member to achieve Kiwanis' highest office.
[ 1976 ]
Many US clubs mark the Bicentennial of the
American Revolution under the Kiwanis observance theme, "The Volunteer and the
Nation." The radio series, "Sounds of Glory," is broadcast by 55 stations. The
number of new clubs again tops the previous record. A European Kiwanian is
seated on the International Board for the first time as a specified Trustee for
KI-Europe. First clubs are built in Guadeloupe, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Suriname.
Stanley E. Schneider, Crestline, Ohio, is elected President.
[ 1977 ]
Another record year in new club building. To
comply with rules for US high schools receiving federal funds, KEY Club
International becomes a co-ed service organization for students. At the
International Convention in Dallas, Texas, 15% of the delegates favor an
amendment to open Kiwanis ranks to women. First clubs are built in the Dominican
Republic, Brazil, and India. Maurice Gladman, Tustin, California, is elected
[ 1978 ]
Another banner year for new clubs. The Kiwanis
International Foundation expands its service program overseas with a grant for a
medical clinic in the Philippines. Associate Secretary L. A. Hapgood retires and
begins a special assignment, writing a new official history of Kiwanis, "The Men
Who Wear the K." The highest court in New York State upholds the right of
Kiwanis as a private organization to enforce the men-only rule in that state;
the US Supreme Court declines to review the case. First clubs are built in
Portugal, French Guiana, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Kenya, Ireland, and
Cameroon. The convention is held in Miami Beach, Florida. Hilmar L. "Bill"
Solberg, Appleton, Wisconsin, is elected President.
[ 1979 ]
The Kiwanis International Foundation's
rehabilitation clinic at Manila General Hospital in the Philippines is
dedicated. Total Kiwanis membership exceeds 300,000 for the first time. Toronto,
Ontario, hosts the convention. Mark A. Smith Jr., North Dekalb, Georgia, is
elected President -- the only International President to follow his father
(1940) in Kiwanis' highest leadership position.
[ 1980 ]
As the 1980s begin, Kiwanis continues to grow,
but at a slow pace. While new club building records have been set in each recent
year, the number of annual member deletions about equals the number of new
member adds. The American Library Association names Kiwanis Magazine the best in
the service-club field. First clubs are built in Tunisia, Spain, and Senegal.
The convention is held in Anaheim, California. Merald T. Enstad, Fergus Falls,
Minnesota, is elected President.
[ 1981 ]
International Secretary R. P. Merridew retires
after 15 years and is succeeded by J. William Kleindorfer, an American Bar
Association executive. General Office operations have outgrown the Kiwanis
International Building in Chicago. After a survey of future needs and costs,
ground is broken for a new International Headquarters building in Indianapolis,
Indiana. First clubs are built in Ivory Coast and the Faroe Islands. The
convention is held in New Orleans, Louisiana. E. B. "Mac" McKitrick, Edmonton,
Alberta, is elected President.
[1982 - 1999]
Dealing with social problems
The International Office
staff moves into the new headquarters in Indianapolis on September 1, and a
cornerstone dedication ceremony is held on October 2 during the International
Council meeting. KEY Club International passes the 100,000-member mark. At the
Minneapolis convention, 33% of the delegates favor women's membership. Delegates
approve a specified International Trustee for the Asia-Pacific Region. First
clubs are built in Micronesia and Saint Lucia. John T. Roberts, Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, is elected President.
Reflecting Kiwanis' 58-year service commitment to young people, "The
Underprivileged Child -- A Kiwanis Concern" is adopted as the organization's
continuing service emphasis and the basis for future Major Emphasis Programs.
The first Kiwanis television documentary, "Volunteers In Action: Kiwanis Today,"
is produced. A Kiwanian from the Asia-Pacific region is seated on the
International Board for the first time as a specified Trustee for that area.
International Secretary Kleindorfer resigns and is succeeded by G. H.
Zitzelsberger, a Michigan judge and past district governor. First clubs are
built in Finland and Andorra. The convention in Vienna, Austria, is the first
outside the US and Canada. Aubrey E. Irby, Tyler, Texas, is elected President.
Kiwanis launches a major US public-service campaign on school-age drug abuse.
The first Kiwanis/Nancy Reagan billboard is posted. During the summer, 500 radio
stations air a 14-week series of 2-minute programs hosted by the First Lady --
the first regular broadcast by a First Lady from the White House. The three
television networks begin airing a Kiwanis/Nancy Reagan public-service spot. For
the first time, the Kiwanis International Foundation surpasses the $1 million
mark in annual income from gifts and endowment. At the Phoenix, Arizona,
convention, Mrs. Reagan thanks Kiwanians for their school-age drug abuse
efforts. First clubs are built in the Comoros Islands and Sri Lanka. Raymond
W. Lansford, Columbia, Missouri, is elected President.
At the convention in Toronto, 27% of the delegates support a women's membership
amendment. Kiwanis International begins litigation in the US District Court for
New Jersey, seeking to withdraw the license to use the Kiwanis name from a
New Jersey club that has admitted a woman member. Annual membership growth
hovers in the less-than-1% range in the mid-1980s, sparking continuous emphasis
on member retention, recruitment, and new club building. The Kiwanis/Nancy
Reagan drug-abuse campaign posts 3,000 billboards, the radio series is repeated
by hundreds of additional stations. Donald E. Williams, Berea, Ohio, is elected
President. The first Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to Dr. Giuseppe Maggi, a Swiss-Italian physician who has devoted forty years to building
hospitals and serving the medical needs of the poor in remote regions of the
Cameroons, West Africa.
The US District Court rules against Kiwanis International's right to enforce the
men-only rule in New Jersey. The decision is appealed, and in December Kiwanis
wins a reversal in the US Court of Appeals. In the meantime, 30 additional clubs
in 11 states have admitted women. Foreseeing a long and costly legal contest in
each state, the International Board endorses women's membership for the first
time, and 47% of the Houston convention delegates vote in favor. The
Kiwanis/Nancy Reagan anti-drugs program is in full swing -- billboards near the
5,000 mark; the 14-week radio series is broadcast for the third summer season;
the three US television networks have aired the 30-second spot almost 500 times.
International Secretary Gil Zitzelsberger resigns, and Immediate Past President
Don Williams serves as Acting Secretary during the search for a successor. First
clubs are built in Papua New Guinea and Fiji. Frank J. DiNoto, Rosemead,
California, is elected President. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to
US First Lady Nancy Reagan for her worldwide efforts to fight school-age drug
Kevin Krepinevich, Executive Vice-President of the US Jaycees, is named
International Secretary. Clubs violating the men-only rule total 40 in 15 states
by May, when the US Supreme Court rules that service-club membership is not a US
Constitutional issue but a matter for state law. The International Board under
leadership of Rosemead's Frank DiNoto, again
urges adoption of a women's membership amendment, and delegates to the
Washington, DC, convention approve the historic change overwhelmingly. The
delegates also adopt an International Board plan that allows for greater
worldwide representation when a region of the world increases it share of total
Kiwanis membership. US President Ronald Reagan addresses the convention and
honors the Kiwanis school-age drug abuse campaign with a Presidential Citation
for Private Sector Initiatives, the nation's top award for community outreach
programs. KEY Club membership surpasses 125,000. The first club is built in
Denmark. Anton J. "Tony" Kaiser, Farmingdale, New York, is elected President.
The Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to Church of England envoy Terry
Waite for his courageous efforts to negotiate the release of hostages in Iran,
Libya, and Lebanon. (By the time the award is announced, Waite has been taken
hostage during a mission in Lebanon.)
Kiwanis enjoys its best membership-growth year in a decade. The first club is
built in Tahiti. Kiwanis International organizes a tribute dinner in Washington,
DC, for US First Lady Nancy Reagan as she prepares to leave the White House;
representatives from 80 organizations join with Kiwanis to salute Mrs. Reagan
for her continuing efforts to combat school-age drug abuse. Gene R. Overholt,
Plymouth, Michigan, is elected President at the International Convention in
Seattle. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to Canadian Kiwanian Murray
Dryden for creating the Sleeping Children Around the World program.
Kiwanis enjoys another brisk growth year with the second-best new club record in
its history. More than 1,000 Kiwanis clubs participate in the Children's Miracle
Network Telethon and for the first time surpass $1 million in donations for
children's hospitals in the US, Canada, and several other Kiwanis nations. Noris
A. Lusche, Denver, Colorado, is elected President at the International
Convention in Seattle. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to Harriet Van
Meter of Lexington, Kentucky, creator of the International Book Project.
Kiwanians prepare to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Kiwanis and the 50th
anniversary of the Kiwanis International Foundation!
The year begins on January 1 with a colorful Kiwanis 75th anniversary float in
the Tournament of Roses Parade, televised worldwide. On January 19-21, 2,000
Kiwanians and guests meet in Detroit to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the
first Kiwanis club. On January 21, the actual anniversary date, Kiwanis charters
a club in Hungary, the first in Eastern Europe. On January 22, "Project KNOW," a
new anti-drug program sponsored as a special anniversary program by the Kiwanis
International Foundation, is launched in elementary schools in twelve
U.S. cities. By the end of the 75th anniversary year, Project KNOW programs have
been conducted in 1,075 schools with 415,000 students. W. J. Blechman, M.D.,
Miami, Florida, is elected International President at the convention in
St. Louis, Missouri. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to William
V. Dolan, M.D., for his humanitarian medical work with the Esperanca
organization, aiding the poor of Brazil and other medically underserved nations.
The International Board adopts a multi-year Major Emphasis Program called "Young
Children: Priority One," to serve the needs of children from prenatal
development to age 5.
Women's membership tops 30,000 in November. More than 1,000 clubs are involved
in projects under the MEP banner of Young Children: Priority One. The
International Convention is held in Anaheim, California, and John D. Morton Sr.,
Berlin, New Hampshire, is elected President. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is
awarded jointly to Yvonne Fedderson and Sara O'Meara Sigholtz, founders of
Childhelp, a program to shelter and treat severely abused children.
After five years as a hostage in Beirut, Lebanon, Church of England envoy Terry
Waite is freed and is able to personally accept the 1987 Kiwanis World Service
Medal. A new 13-part Young Children: Priority One public-service radio series is
distributed to stations throughout North America. A new billboard and poster
program, featuring the slogan "All Their Shots, While They're Tots," urging
immunization of children by age 2, is another new part of the continuing Young
Children: Priority One initiative. The International Convention is held in
Indianapolis, Indiana, and thousands of Kiwanians have a chance to visit the
International Office. Williams L. Lieber, Gary, Indiana, is elected president,
and the Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to Jaime Jaramillo of Bogota,
Colombia, who has rescued hundreds of abandoned children living in the sewers
U.S. President Bill Clinton joins the "All Their Shots, While They're Tots" team
in a 30-second TV/radio spot, plus a billboard and print ads. The first steps
are taken to launch Kiwanis International's first Worldwide Service Project on
iodine deficiency disorders, with pilot development programs in five districts.
Year-end membership totals for the 1992-93 year show a 1.5 percent decline, most
of the loss occurring in North America. The second International Convention in
Europe is held in Nice, France. Arthur D. Swanberg is elected President, and the
Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded posthumously to Audrey Hepburn for her
work for children as UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador.
The Worldwide Service Project is officially launched at the International
Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Twenty-five districts activate district
IDD campaign committees, with the remaining 20 districts scheduled to come
"on-line" in 1995. Ian Perdriau, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Melbourne,
Australia, is elected as the first International President from outside the
founding nations of the United States and Canada at the International Convention
in New Orleans. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is awarded to Ron Post, founder
and president of Northwest Medical Teams International, a volunteer disaster
relief program. International Secretary Kevin Krepinevich resigns, and
A. G. Terry Shaffer is appointed as the eighth Kiwanis International Secretary.
Total membership for the 1993-94 Kiwanis year again shows a small decline.
The Worldwide Service Project collects more than $4.5 million by year's end. The
first salt iodization programs are funded in Bolivia, Ghana, the Philippines,
Ukraine, and Vietnam. Kiwanis and UNICEF declare October 21 as the first Global
Iodine Deficiency Disorders Day. Eyjolfur "Eddie" Sigurdsson of Reykjavik,
Iceland, is elected as the first Kiwanis International President from the
European Federation at the International Convention in Las Vegas. The Kiwanis
World Service Medal is awarded to Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, founders of
the "Every Child By Two" immunization campaign. The slow decline in total
membership continues for a third consecutive year.
The Worldwide Service Project reaches $16 million in contributions and pledges
by the end of the year. Kiwanis-raised funds support IDD programs in 37 nations,
and UNICEF estimates that the Kiwanis campaign has already saved 1.1 million
children from mental retardation. Gerald P. Christiano of Leicester, New York,
is elected International President at the International Convention in Salt Lake
City. Immediate Past President Eddie Sigurdsson speaks on behalf of Kiwanis to
the UN General Assembly during a special meeting to celebrate UNICEF’s 50th
anniversary. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is presented to Mother Teresa of
Calcutta for her lifetime of service to the poorest of the world’s poor. Kiwanis
International expands into cyberspace with a homepage on the World Wide Web. The
year ends with another small decrease in total Kiwanis membership.
The Worldwide Service Project reaches $25 million in contributions and pledges
by year-end. UNICEF estimates that Kiwanis-funded IDD programs in 40 nations are
now saving more than 3 million children from mental retardation each year. At
the International Convention in Nashville, Walter G. Sellers of Wilberforce,
Ohio, is elected as the first African-American to serve as Kiwanis International
President The Kiwanis World Service Medal was presented to Lewis G. Zirkle Jr.,
MD, an orthopedic surgeon who has devoted much of his time to volunteer
treatment and teaching his fellow surgeons in South America and Southeast Asia.
Total Kiwanis membership continues to decline due to losses in North America,
but Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region continue to grow.
The membership of KEY Club International surpasses 200,000 for the first time.
The Worldwide Service Project reaches $33 million in donations and pledges.
Kiwanis-funded IDD programs are underway in 65 nations, and UNICEF estimates
that these programs are now helping to save at least 8 million children from
mental retardation each year. Glen M. Bagnell of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is
elected International President at the convention in Montreal. He is the eighth
Canadian to serve in Kiwanis’ highest office. The Kiwanis World Service Medal is
awarded to Louise Brissette, a French-Canadian woman who has legally adopted 25
mentally and physically handicapped children.
The organization celebrates the 75th anniversary of the adoption of
the Objects of Kiwanis International. Nettles Brown of Natchitoches, Louisiana,
is elected International President at the International Convention in Denver,
where the original "constitutional convention" of 1924 was also held. Plastic
surgeon William P. Magee, MD, and his wife, Kathy, receive the 1999 Kiwanis
World Service Medal as founders of Operation Smile, which has performed
reconstructive surgery on the faces of more than 40,000 children around the
world. The Worldwide Service Project reaches $46 million in cash donations and
pledges, and IDD projects are funded in 76 nations.