History Learning Center

The “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How” of Rotary since 11 October 2000

The history of the world can be measured by the amount of data that has been assembled and the importance of that information upon the lives of those who live on this planet.

A recent study determined that from the beginning of recorded history to 1904 a body of information was gathered; from 1904 to 1994 it doubled; and it is estimated that from 1994 to 2024 that total will double in size again.

Therefore, the time between doubling of information (history) will become shorter and shorter. The more we know the more there will be to know.

It is important to be able to sift through the enormous amounts of data and find historical paths that can guide our lives. The RGHF “History Learning Center” is dedicated to helping advanced and beginning students with the Global History of Rotary. Rotary has been and is a community of leaders who believe that Service should be Above Self.

Mission: “Teaching the lessons of history through our massive website.” Rotary Global History Fellowship has thousands of articles, essays, speeches and other information. Rotary Global History Fellowship also has a volunteer staff of educators, historians, artists and authors to help you find your own path through this website, a path designed to assist you in many ways.

Objective: We have created a “learning program” to assist individuals with Rotary Global History knowledge and information.

1. This information is separated from all other “Rotary Learning” experiences of our visitors.

2. The aim is to increase “ease-of-handling” and to enrich the experience of all our visitors.

3. This opportunity is free, voluntary, and consists solely of studying existing history material, found on websites… New material is placed on the site since learning is a living process.


All this is offered for the enrichment of an individual’s understanding of Rotary’s past and heritage. Hopefully, each visitor through their learning and study can add to Rotary’s blossoming future.


Where to start on this journey of discovery: Start by signing up as a member:


www.joinrghf.org Visit www.howdoifindit.org to help your search.


Sign up for our weekly features. Check for the latest….


For serious students only: The Heartland Abroad: The Rotary Club’s Mission of Civic Internationalism, Brendan M. Goff.



Paul Harris’ law firm

Harris Study section

Geography of Rotary

Think “out of the box” in your search: Use a student’s guide to finding the unknown from the known.

Searching for the Unknown but Knowable. Make use of history for PETS and GETS from Rotary Global History….

Finally, this tool of the Learning Center of Rotary Global History Fellowship has been designed to make history useful.

Let Us Guide You!

Suggested General Studies

  • Learn from history by understanding the background and development of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary The 1928 book “The Founder of Rotary” lays out the story of how Paul Harris grew to become a visionary. All other education of our history springs from this first major work, a rare book, found in its entirety on our website.
  • RGHF is a fellowship of Rotary. How did fellowships begin? Where are they now? The Story of Fellowships” pdf.
  • How did Rotary appear, after Harris, in 1949. Read an excellent guest editorial from The Rotarian Magazine to study Rotary’s First 100 years.
  • How did women become involved in Rotary? The entire story is found here.
  • View an early story of women in Rotary, produced and narrated by RGHF founder Jack M. B. Selway, in 1984.
  • What are the “Avenues of Services” sometimes called “lanes”?
  • See the very first Rotary Club orientation, produced on video, by RGHF founder Jack Selway in 1984.
  • Learn the meaning of “He Profits Most Who Serves Best”. (revised to “One Profits Most Who Serves Best”).
  • What is the earliest textbook on Rotary? The book, by Paul Harris, “This Rotarian Age”, 1935, serves that purpose and can be read, in its entirety at this link.
  • Learn how The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International got its start, nearly 90 years ago.
  • Is there a “Philosophy of Rotary?” There have been attempts which were never completed. Read all about the early efforts and study our own gathering of philosophical articles keyed to the writings of Paul Harris.
  • One of the earliest attempts to frame the philosophy of Rotary, was by Ches Perry, RI secretary from 1910 to 1942.
  • How did Rotary become involved with the United Nations? For special recognition and “extra credit” use our search engine. It is a fascinating story.
  • Learn how Rotary began in each region of the world, and see the geography at www.regionalhistory.org
  • Further your knowledge of Rotary by learning more about
  • The Harris childhood home, Wallingford, Vermont
  • The Paul and Jean Harris home
  • The Paul Harris Memorial
  • The Paul and Jean Harris Friendship Trees
  • The Little Red Schoolhouse (built by Paul’s great grandfather)
  • All of the writings of Rotary Founder Paul P. Harris

This section was re-designed on 3 September 2006 by artist, professor and RGHF Peace Historian Joe Kagle.