Melvin Jones was a Chicago business leader. During a meeting of their local business club, Business Circle of Chicago, Jones' proposed an idea to fellow members: get beyond business issues and address issues that would create a better community and a better world. Everyone agreed.
On June 17, 1917, several similar groups from around the United States held an organizing meeting in Chicago IL. There was an attending group named "Association of Lions Clubs". The newly formed group of business groups from across the United States adopted this name as their own; they held a national convention that year in October. The convention was held in Dallas, Texas where they developed a constitution, by-laws, objectives and a code of ethics that was immediately adopted and approved. In 1925, the Association of Lions Clubs became an international organization when they chartered a Lions Club in Windsor, Canada.
In 1920, the first Lions Club was chartered outside the United States in Windsor, Canada. This was the first sign the organization would have an international reach.
In 1925 Lions held their international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio. At that convention, Helen Keller challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness".
You can see the video here:
Lions Get a New Mission
You can learn more about Lions Clubs and the work we have done worldwide by visiting Lions Clubs International website and reviewing our timeline of events that spans our 100 year history.