Rotary Club of Birmingham

The Rotary Club of Birmingham was founded on February 6, 1913, as the result of architect Harry B. Wheelock learning of Rotary from a visit with his brother in Denver. We became Club 56 with 32 members and 5 officers. Familiar names dot that original list, such as Ingalls, Black, Molton, and Drennen. In August of that same year, 81 members went en masse to Atlanta and persuaded a nucleus of the Atlanta Ad Club to organize a Rotary Club there. These early outreach efforts were also extended to the establishment of clubs in Montgomery, Nashville, Memphis, Savannah, Macon, Tampa, Mobile and Augusta, plus many clubs nearby such as Selma, Ensley and Bessemer.

In the one hundred years since the club's founding, members have played a prominent if not dominant role in providing leadership to such civic enterprises as the Red Cross, Community Chest/United Way, and the Chamber of Commerce. The Club itself has been directly involved in a number of community projects and has led the Rotary world in international service through RI Presidents Frank Spain and Roy Hickman, as well as Les Wright's leadership of the hugely successful Polio Plus Campaign. In 1986, the Club, through members John Harbert and Hall Thompson, led in building the Harbert Center where we meet now. At present we have some 635 members, making us the largest in the world.