MILESTONES

MILESTONES

Every year, new and exiting advancements and decisions are made in this organization. As it is impossible to list them all, the following are the events that are truly regarded as landmarks in the history of this worldwide organization.

1910s

  • 1910 – The organization began in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. The founder, Henry Geissenbier, had formed the Herculaneum Dance Club with the purpose of bringing about the social elevation of its members.
  • 1915 – The first step toward the creation of the Junior Chamber movement was taken when 32 young men met at the Mission Inn on October 13 to form the Young Men’s Progressive Civic Association with Geissenbier as president.
  • 1916 – In August, the organization’s name was changed to Junior Citizens and it was at this time that the initials “JC” were first used. This group became affiliated with the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce and in 1918 the name Junior Chamber was adopted.

1920s

  • 1920 – On January 21st and 22nd, The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (USJCC) was formed in St. Louis, Missouri, with 3,000 members.  Twenty-nine clubs around the nation were in attendance.  Henry Geissenbier was elected as the first national president.
  • 1923 – Get Out The Vote was the first Jaycee program to receive national endorsement.
  • 1925 – Beginning of national projects Know America First and Fire Prevention.  Birth of Expansion, the first USJCC national magazine.
  • 1926 – Development of aviation adopted as a national poject.
  • 1927 – Jaycee Charles A. Lindbergh made the first solo flight between New York and Paris.  Jaycees worked with Lindbergh to develop the U.S. Air Mail Service.

1930s

  • 1931 – Distinguished Service Awards program established at a chapter level.
  • 1932 – Many actions were taken to form a Junior Chamber International, including the creation of the International Executive Council of Junior Chamber of Commerce formed at the Olympic Games in 1932.
  • 1935 – Death of founder Henry Geissenbier.
  • 1936 – National Wildlife Federation established with guidance of USJCC.
  • 1937 – Programs begun at state and national level to inform the public of the need for diagnosis and treatment of venereal disease.
  • 1938 – Future Magazine established.  USJCC named the Ten Outstanding Young Men for the first time.
  • 1939 – Safety with Light campaigned gained national attention as thousands of street lights were donated to communities by Jaycees.

1940s

  • 1940 – USJCC endorsed the principle of a military draft.
  • 1941 – JCI was born in Mexico City on December 7-11.  Witness to the birth of the organization were 30 delegates from North and Central America.  Raul Garcia Vidal of Mexico was elected the first JCI President.
  • 1946 – USJCC established permanent headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  In February, the first JCI World Congress was held in Panama City.  Junior Golf program began.  The Jaycee Creed was written by C. William Brownfield.
  • 1947 – Official approval of “Jaycee” as a synonym of the organization.  Adoption of the Jaycee Creed.

1950s

  • 1951 – War Memorial Headquarters in Tulsa dedicated.  At the urging of Andy Mungenast, the reference to “Faith in God” was added to the Jaycee Creed.
  • 1953 – Jaycees sponsored stops on Professional Golfers’ Association tour for first time at Greensboro, North Carolina, and Hartford Connecticut.
  • 1954 – First Outstanding Young Farmer and Junior Tennis programs held.
  • 1959 – Jaycees supported statehood for Alaska.  Hawaii gained statehood the following year due to Jaycee efforts.

 1960s

  • 1961 – First Governmental Affairs Leadership Seminar (GALS) conducted.
  • 1962 – Jaycees urge adoption of the Uniform Vehicle Code, with emphasis on state action resulting in adoption nationally.
  • 1963 – Clean Water Program launched to improve water quality in communities across America.  Shooting Education adopted as a national program.
  • 1964 – Project Concern adopted as International Relations activity.  The program raised money and equipment for clinics providing medical care to Chinese refugees in Hong Kong.
  • 1965 – Jaycees presented the first annual National Award of Distinction from the National Clean Up-Paint Up-Fix Up Bureau.
  • 1966 – Name of organization officially changed to U.S. Jaycees.

1970s

  •  1970 – Do Something campaign sparked interest in volunteerism.  Jaycees’ cooperation with other service organizations resulted in the founding of the National Center for Voluntary Action.
  • 1971 – More than 3 Million volunteer hours  were provided by the Jaycees to help administer seven million doses of rubella measles vaccine.
  • 1972 – Jaycees undertook model Operation Identification program to combat burglaries and aid crime prevention efforts.  Five million stickers were distributed nationally through Operation Red Ball to reduce fire fatalities.  Bylaw changes admitted 18-year-olds as regular members.
  • 1973 – The United States Jaycees’ Center for Improved Child Nutrition opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.
  • 1977 – Operation Threshold, a program dedicated to reducing alcohol abuse, reached more than 23 million Americans.  Muscular Dystrophy Fund Raising adopted as national program.

1980s

  • 1980 – Daisy/U.S. Jaycees Shooting Education program honored with National Safety Council Award for Youth Activities.
  • 1982 – Healthy American Fitness Leaders adopted as national program.
  • 1984 – Bylaw changes admitted women as full and regular members.  Sign Up America campaign collected 1.5 million signatures supporting America’s Olympic athletes.
  • 1985 – The U.S. Jaycees endorsed Campaign for Liberty to encourage public support for restoration of the Statue of Liberty.  St. Jude Fundraising adopted as a national program.
  • 1986 – First woman honored as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA).
  • 1987 – Bylaw change established member ship ages as 21-39.  Name of the U.S. Jaycees’ official publication changed to Jaycees Magazine.

 1990s

  •  1990 – Name of the organization is changed back to The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.
  • 1992 – National Wake Up America program urged communities to get involved in politics by coordinating voter registration campaigns, hosting debates, and embracing pertinent community issues.  Jaycees responded to devastating hurricanes in the Southeast with national support.
  • 1993 – Greenworks! environmental education and community action program adopted by USJCC.  Jaycees Against Youth Smoking (JAYS) adopted as a national program.  Junior Chamber members were instrumental in bringing relief to the flood-stricken Midwest.
  • 1994 – Junior Chamber Mission Inn Foundation created to build a nationwide network of care facilities for children and adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • 1995 – The Jaycee Alliance was formed as a non-partisan, educational, grassroots governmental advocacy organization to give young Americans a voice in government.  The Jaycee KidCare I.D. Program was organized to provide identification to aid in the recovery of missing children.
  • 1996 – The Jaycees Wake Up America Tour Bus began a journey through the 48 contiguous states promoting programs and membership.  Social Security Reform Town Hall Meetings program initiated.
  • 1997 – Junior Chamber Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Advancement name changed to Junior Chamber for Business Advancement.  Two new programs, National Business Network and Virtual Networking, added to encourage Junior Chamber members to business network via the Internet both nationally and internationally.
  • 1999 – JAYS program reintroduced as an educational program to inform children about the dangers of smoking.  Value Investing and Career Advancement added to the Junior Chamber Center for Business Advancement.

2000s

  • 2000 – The first woman was elected as National President.  Junior Chamber Center for Business Advancement develops Web-based video seminar training.
  • 2001 – Name changes to The United States Junior Chamber
  • 2002 – Jaycees’ Citizen Corps Program launched.  Over 700 Chapters pledge 10 hours of community service for homeland security.  The United States Junior Chamber National Service Center relocates to the War Memorial Fund’s new U.S. Junior Chamber Headquarters.
  • 2003 – Bylaw passed to allow collegiate chapters
  • 2004 – Bylaw change established membership age as 18 through 40
  • 2005 – Established relationship with American Cancer Society to promote Relay for Life events. Tennessee & Iowa Jaycees provided 19 tractor-trailer loads of supplies to Hurricane Katrina and The United States Junior Chamber raised over one million in support.
  • 2008 – Support pledged to Operation Hope.
  • 2009 – Adoption of Riley’s Toys Foundation as program granted national exposure to the program.  Hasbro Toy Company then agreed to match the number of toys donated when shipments were made to Africa.

2010s

  • 2011 – Moved the National Service Center from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Chesterfield, Missouri to integrate the USA and international staff at JCI.