World Peace and Understanding Day Date in the current year: February 23, 2024

World Peace and Understanding Day World Peace and Understanding Day, also known as World Understanding and Peace Day, is observed annually on February 23. It was created to commemorate the founding anniversary of Rotary International, one of the world’s oldest and largest service organizations.

A service organization or service club is a type of voluntary nonprofit organization focused on charity where members meet regularly to either perform charitable work themselves or raise funds for other charitable organizations. A service organization is defined by two key aspects: its service mission and its membership benefits, such as opportunities for personal growth, networking, and social occasions.

Rotary Club is the world’s oldest service club. It was founded by Paul Harris, an attorney from Chicago, Illinois who wanted to create a social club for his business acquaintances. The first meeting of the club took place on February 23, 1905 in the office of Harris’s friend Gustave Loehr, a mining engineer and freemason. In attendance were Loehr, Harris, merchant tailor Hiram Shorey, and coal dealer Sylvester Schiele.

The founding members named their club Rotary because they rotated weekly club meetings between their offices. However, the club became so large by the end of its first year that they had to find a permanent meeting place. The next Rotary Clubs were opened in San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, and Los Angeles.

Five years after the founding of the Chicago Rotary Club, the National Association of Rotary Clubs in America was formed. Shortly after, the first Rotary Club outside the United States was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The first Rotary Club in Europe was established in 1911 in Dublin, Ireland. The National Association was renamed the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912 to recognize its expansion beyond the United States. It adopted the name Rotary International in 1922.

By the time of Harris’s death in 1947, Rotary International had clubs in 75 countries with more than 200,000 members. Today, it has around 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary International is a non-religious and non-political organization that unites business, professional and community leaders in making the world a better place through a wide range of charitable projects.

World Peace and Understanding Day is part of Rotary’s World Understanding Month, which is filled with events like meetings with international speakers, talks and discussions on global issues, various entertainment, and more. These events and activities focus on raising awareness of the importance of goodwill and understanding among people for world peace.

There are many ways to observe World Peace and Understanding Day. You can look up your local Rotary Club and take part in their programs, organize an event in your community, volunteer at or donate to any non-profit organization whose cause you believe in, learn more about peaceful conflict resolution, and spread the word about the holiday on social media to encourage others to celebrate.

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World Peace and Understanding Day, Rotary International, Rotary Club, Paul Harris, international observances