Each year new and exciting advancements and decisions are made in the organization which is today named Junior Chamber International (JCI). As it is impossible to list them all, the following are the events and years in which they occurred, which we truly regard as landmarks in the history of our worldwide organization.
The organization began in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The founder, Henry Giessenbier, had formed the Herculaneum Dance Club with the purpose of bringing about the social elevation of its members.
The first step towards the creation of the Jaycee movement was taken when 32 young men met at the Mission Inn in St. Louis on 13 October 1915 to form the Young Men’s Progressive Civic Association with Giessenbier as its president.
In August, the organization’s name was changed to Junior Citizens, and it was at this time that the initials “JC” were first employed.
On the 21st and 22nd January, the first national organization, the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (USJCC) was formed. Twenty-nine clubs around the nation were in attendance and elected Henry Giessenbier as the first national president.
The Jaycee movement crossed international borders. Organizations were formed in many countries including Canada, England, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Colombia. The Junior Chamber movement came to Canada in 1923 with the formation of its first chapter, the Young Men’s Section of the Winnipeg Board of Trade. Many actions were taken to form Junior Chamber International, including the creation of the International Executive Council of Junior Chambers of Commerce formed at the Olympic Games in 1932.
Junior Chamber International was born in Mexico City, Mexico during 7 to 11 December. Witnesses to the birth of the organization were 30 delegates from North and Central America. Raul Garcia Vidal was elected the first president.
In February, the first JCI World Congress was held in Panama City, Panama, with an attendance of 44 delegates from 16 countries. At this time, a Constitution was drafted. Also this year a young Jaycee member, Mr. C. William ‘Bill’ Brownfield, authored the Jaycee Creed.
The JCI Senate was formed through the efforts of Phil Pugsley, the 1951 JCI president, at the 7th JCI World Congress in Melbourne, Australia
The first permanent World Headquarters was established at the United States Jaycees War Memorial Headquarters Building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Philip Van Slyck was hired as JCI’s first full-time Secretary General.
The rapidly growing World Headquarters moved to its own building in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
The current World Headquarters was built in Coral Gables, Florida, USA to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Junior Chamber International.
At the 38th JCI World Congress in Taipei, the organization’s name was changed from Junior Chamber International to Jaycees International.
Honorees were recognized at the first Outstanding Young Persons ceremony at the 38th JCI World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan.
At the 39th JCI World Congress in Sydney, Australia, the organization’s name was again changed from Jaycees International to Junior Chamber International.
1989 was an historic year for JCI as services were extended to the Eastern Bloc countries of Estonia (USSR), Poland and Hungary.