The following Centennial Facts were presented at our weekly lunch meetings by club president Doug Hartford during the centennial year of 2009-2010.


Many of you have shared kind words about our series of Centennial Minutes. Now that we are actually in our Centennial Year, I am going to switch gears a bit. Each week throughout this year I thought I would pick a year or a pair of years from our history and share an interesting fact that didn't make it into our Centennial Minutes.

In light of today's program I thought this item from 1925 was of interest. In that year, club members voted overwhelmingly to defeat a resolution calling for the expulsion of any member found to be in violation of the 18th Amendment.


Our Centennial Fact today is from the year 1917. On the eve of the US entry into World War I, St. Paul Rotarians joined with the Minneapolis Club to provide the Chaplain of the First Minnesota Regiment with a "complete outfit". Our history goes on to define that as "an automobile, trailer, ten, and accessories.


As I thought about an appropriate centennial fact for this week, I wondered about any official ambassadorial role St Paul Rotarians might have had. We have a long history of the unofficial variety from youth exchange and GSE to Ambassadorial Scholars and international service projects. As always, I found Rotarians to be where they were needed and our fact this week is from the year 1946 when St Paul Rotarian Robert Butler was appointed by President Truman as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia.


Once again it is time for our Centennial Fact as we note this is the fourth week of Club 10's Centennial Year. This year we highlight the Rotary year of 1931-32. In that year Club 10 employed its first Executive Secretary - Agnes Lindblad. She would go on to serve the club for 40 years in that role. With her hiring, the Club set up a permanent office in the St. Paul Hotel.


This year we highlight the Rotary year of 2004-2005. That year marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of Rotary and Club 10 joined in the effort to renovate St Paul's Summit Overlook Park as its commemorative Rotary Centennial Project.


For our centennial fact today, I've picked the year 1929. On July 13, of that year the program was presented by Rotary's founder, Paul Harris. It marked his first visit to St Paul since the Club's founding in 1910. Unfortunately the history book doesn't have any information on his remarks to the club. We presume they were complimentary.


Since our District Governor is with us, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at Club 10's history in this area. Today's Centennial Fact begins in the Rotary year 1924-25 when Ed Flynn of the Great Northern Railroad became the first St. Paul Rotarian to serve as District Governor - heading up what was then Rotary District number 9. Since then Rotary District lines have changed 4 times and an additional 11 St. Paul Rotarians have been elected to serve as District Governor - the most recent was Dr. Ken Crabb in 2004-2005.


With "The Great Minnesota Get Together" beginning this weekend, I thought I'd see about our Club's involvement in the State Fair. It turns out that for many years on either side of World War II the club had an annual State Fair Meeting. Of particular note was the 1948 meeting - held at the fairgrounds - where a featured speaker was burlesque queen, Sally Rand. The history book sheds no light on the nature of her remarks.


St Paul Rotary has always hosted distinguished speakers. Today I want to highlight a February 1944 meeting that represented the only appearance by a sitting US Vice President before the club. Henry Wallace spoke to Club 10 members about the important role business - and in particular small business - would play in the transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy.


Today our focus is on the year 1942. Just three months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the sale of Defense Stamps became a regular feature of Club 10's weekly meeting. By war's end, the Club had sold a total of $28,928.85 worth of Defense Stamps.


With today's speaker in mind I chose to highlight the year 1993. That was the year St Paul Rotarians began the work of planting flowers at Cleveland Circle. A tradition of beautifying our downtown that has continued now for 16 seasons.


This week I want to focus on the Rotary year 1958-59. That year featured a number of programs on the continuing development of downtown St. Paul. One of those programs was a talk by Ralph Burgard - Executive Secretary of the St Paul Council on the Arts - who talked about plans for a new science museum facility in downtown. It would open on 10th street in 1964.


Today I want to note a couple of youth related activities from 1929. In that year, Rotarians took area children to the Shrine Circus and also - in what may have been its first international youth program - hosted a group of boys from the "Young Australia League".


Today we return to 1915. One article in the Hub that year dealt with "Rotary Etiquette" . I was particularly intrigued by these admonitions: -"Never look at your watch during a meeting. It attracts the attention of the men near you. Your watch is none too safe at a Rotary luncheon anyhow." -"Never try to sneak away during a stereopticon talk - the doors are too crowded with others going out."


Last week I presented a bell on your behalf to the newly chartered Rosemont Rotary Club. It prompted me to highlight the year 1923 this week. That year the club's extension committee chartered clubs in Owatana, Albert Lea, Fairmont and Detroit Lakes - bringing to 10 the number of clubs chartered by St Paul only 13 years into its history.


I was attracted to this item from 1953-54. It seems there was a presentation by a guest from Pine City on the early days on the Mesabi and Vermillion Iron Ranges. The club history has little else to say about this except to note that the speakers language and stories required a public apology from the President at the next meeting.


As we begin the month of November I was attracted to 1920 as the Club celebrated its 10th anniversary. In that year the club's bylaws were amended to match those of Rotary International and the start of the club year was moved from November 1 to July 1. The result was a the longest "year" in club history - running from November 1, 1919 to June 30, 1921


Tomorrow is Veterans Day. With that in mind I thought I would look at Club 10's history in that area and in particular its service during World War II. By 1943, 76 Rotarians or sons and daughters of Rotarians were in the Armed Forces. By war's end the total was 111.


The early registration deadline for the 2010 Rotary International Convention in Montreal is approaching and that prompted me to recall the year 1922. In that year a group of models from Atlantic City attended a club meeting to promote attendance at that year's RI convention. The history book reports that as a result, the program for that day was largely ignored.


I'm sure you all noted the Salvation Army kettle as you came into the meeting today and I thought it appropriate for today's centennial fact to note that St Paul Rotarians began ringing bells for the Salvation Army in 1954 and have continued to do so up to the present day.


Today we are going to note the year 1983 when St Paul Rotarians joined forces with Rotarians from White Bear Lake to assist newly arriving Hmong refugees to settle into the community. The effort received a commendation from President Ronald Regan who wrote " In helping the Hmong refugees you are providing hope for and preserving the dignity of your fellow man."


As had been the custom for many years, St Paul Rotarians journeyed to Winnipeg in 1956. However, inn this particular year the heating system on the train stopped working. The author of the Rotary History notes that he was unable to confirm the rumor that while a bit uncomfortable, the situation did allow the Curling Team to get in some extra practice enroute.


We have many holiday traditions in St Paul Rotary including the holiday party and 55 consecutive years of Salvation Army Bell Ringing. However there are a couple that are no longer part of our tradition although they had a long history with our club. I want to highlight 1921 when St Paul Rotarians hosted a Christmas party for, and provided gifts to, children at the City and County Hospital. The hospital would go through many name and organizational changes over the years before becoming what we know today as Regions Hospital. The club's tradition of providing holiday cheer to its young patients would continue for almost 50 years - with the final visit taking place in 1968.


With Ambassadorial Scholars on this weeks programs, our Centennial Fact comes from 1954. That is when Richard Oman, a Rotary Foundation Fellow sponsored by St Paul reported on his year in Scotland. The Foundation Fellowship was the precursor to the Ambassadorial Scholarship and St Paul has now been sponsoring these students for more than 50 years.


This weekend I attended our District's mid-term meeting.. It prompted me to recall the year 1937. That was the first of four re-districtings that would take place over the next 45 years. Minneapolis and St Paul would remain in the same district until 1982.


With our centennial meeting just a month a way, I got to wondering how long it has been since we have had an RI president as our speaker. The answer is 50 years. Rotary International President Harold Thomas of New Zealand spoke at Club 10's 50th anniversary gathering in 1960. Two of the club's original 17 members attended the gala held at the Prom Ballroom.


With the Winter Carnival Royalty here I thought it would be fun to recall 1936. In that year Rotarians joined with Jaycees to bring back the Winter Carnival after its demise earlier in the Depression years. The modern Winter Carnival emerged in 1937 and the Club had a marching unit in the parade. You can see one of those uniforms in the back of the room.


St Paul Rotarians have a long history of reaching out to those who have suffered a tragedy. The club history notes that in 1918 St Paul Rotarians joined with others to assist those who had suffered losses in the great Moose Lake fire.


In a little over a week we will be hosting Rotary International President John Kenny. It got me to thinking about international visitors to our club. Our first may have come in 1925 when Saint Paul Rotarians hosted a delegation of Latin Americans from the Pan American Highway Commission. The were here to study road construction in the US in preparation for their project.


As we move in to our second century, I wondered about a suitable Centennial Fact for this week. I thought 1971 provided a particularly appropriate item as we shift from reflecting on our past to planning our future. In February of that year the club was treated to a discussion between the world's two oldest Rotarians in terms of service. They were Henry Brunnier of San Francisco Club #2 and St Paul's own Charter member Bill Oppenheimer. The two shared recollections of Rotary's early days via an open mike broadcast to the meetings of the two clubs.


As we move into our second century of service, I thought it might be fun to use some of my remaining centennial minutes to recognize some of the "firsts" in the History of Saint Paul Rotary. What better way to start than to recognize Past President Carolyn Brusseau who was the fist woman to serve in that role. She led our club during its 85th year, 1994-1995.


Last week, in recognition of the completion of our first century of rotary Service, I began looking at some of our club's "firsts". Here are a few more for your consideration - this time from the 1991-92 Rotary Year. That year saw the first curling championship in Winnipeg, the first Saint Paul Rotary rose sale, and the first smoke-free Saint Paul Rotary meeting.


Since our speaker today is from the Riverfront Corporation I thought something related to the Mississippi might be in order and that brought to mind the year 2004 - the sesquicentennial of Millard Fillmore's visit and the year of the Great Excursion. For its part in the celebration Saint Paul Rotary created a program for school children about the history of riverboat music. What was intended as a six-month effort has taken on a life of its own and is still going strong six years later. Since its creation, Jim Field estimates it has been seen by over 10,000 elementary school children.


As you recall we have been looking at some of the club's "firsts" as we near the end of our Centennial celebration and move forward into our second century of service. In that vein I thought I would return to the year 1913 when our first regular bulletin appeared. It was know as the "St Paul Rotarian" and would become the "HUB" two years later to avoid confusion with RI's "Rotarian magazine.


In a little over a week some 80 young people will come to YMCA Camp St Croix for our annual RYLA program. I thought this would be a good time to note that this effort was begun by Saint Paul Rotary as the Young Men's Leadership Conference in 1947 and has been held every year since then. Past Rotary International Director Jerry Meigs - who is an alumnus of the program - tells me he believes this is the longest continually running youth program in all of Rotary. Happy 63rd birthday camp RYLA.


In light of today's program, I thought I'd go back to the year 1977 . That is the year that Saint Paul Rotary was first involved with a GSE team exchange with India. The outbound team that year was lead by past president and soon-to-be District Governor Joe Kovarick.


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned RYLA was 63 years old. Today I thought I'd focus on the year 1950. It was still the Young Men's Leadership Conference in those days and the weekend's activities included a Saturday night dance. This meant that in addition to securing food and lodging and designing the program's activities, Rotarians also had to find dates for the roughly 100 young men participating in the conference. I'm sure Jason and his committee are glad that task is no longer on their "to do" list.


In addition to our outstanding students, we are today honoring for the 25th time an outstanding Saint Paul Teacher. You'll meet this year's honoree shortly, but for today's Centennial Fact I wanted to note this program began in 1986 and the initial Educator of the Year award was presented to Gary Ales of Humbolt High School.


Because today is our birthday meeting and this is our 100th birthday, I thought I'd look at what other Saint Paul institutions got their start in 1910. They include The Fitzgerald theater, The St Paul Hotel, Linders Greenhouse, TKDA Architects and Engineers, and the Boy Scouts. Just 5 years after their beginnings, Rotarians and the Boy Scouts began a partnership that has now lasted for 95 years. It began with a $500 gift in 1915 and over the years has included the purchase of a scout camp, supporting numerous boys in scouting, and in-school mentoring programs.


Since our upcoming birthday party will be at the 100-year-old Saint Paul Hotel, I though I'd look for an interesting fact that involved both of us. The best one comes from the year 1950 and the occasion of the first - and probably only - Rotary International Cow Milking Contest held in the hotel's ballroom. Despite being home to the U of M's college of agriculture, Saint Paul lost the event to Minneapolis. I'm not sure whether the challenges of getting the cow in and out of the Saint Paul Hotel or the loss to Minneapolis was the reason the event seems not to have been repeated.


I searched our history for an item that seemed to be in keeping with today's program. That brought me to the year 1924 when our history notes that Saint Paul Rotarians arranged for a boy from Bismarck, ND " to be fitted with a new leg". Unfortunately, the history book does not provide any further detail, but this is one more item on the long list of ways in which this club has served young people during its first one hundred years.


We have many programs that have or had a long tradition in Saint Paul Rotary. One that has gone unmentioned so far this year - despite its central role in club fellowship for nearly 40 years - was the annual stag party. It began in 1931 and the pre-war years featured athletic programs focused on the Gopher Football and Wrestling teams. After the war however, that changed a bit. In 1949 the U of M Boxing exhibition was accompanied by a fashion show -- its in the book! 1950 saw the already mentioned cow milking contest. And many of these programs were noted in our history book in a fashion that left as much unanswered as explained. What, for example actually took place at the 1956 program described as "Wrestling, Turkeys, and the Shiek's Sextet"; or the 1962 evening that featured "a surprise entertainer from Chicago". In any event, times changed and interest in the program waned as the 60's turned into the 70's. The stag party appears to have ended in 1978.


The 101st Rotary Convention is now underway Montreal Canada. This made we wonder about the first convention. It was held in Chicago in August of 1910 and Saint Paul was represented by G. C, Knispel. The National Association of Rotary Clubs (which later became Rotary International) was formed at this meeting and all of the first 16 clubs received their charters.