Association Name and Symbol
The Lions Name
On June 7, 1917 at the invitation of Melvin Jones, delegates met in Chicago. The only point of contention was the selection of a name for the new organization. Melvin Jones researched the idea of calling the new organization Lions. He was convinced that the lion stood for strength, courage, fidelity and vital action. On a secret ballot the name Lions was chosen over several others.
Helen Keller's Speech
at 1925 International Convention
Cedar Point, Ohio, USA, June 30, 1925
Dear Lions and Ladies:
I suppose you have heard the legend that represents opportunity as a capricious lady, who knocks at every door but once, and if the door isn't opened quickly, she passes on, never to return. And that is as it should be. Lovely, desirable ladies won't wait. You have to go out and grab 'em.
Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA, in 1880, Helen Keller developed a fever at 18 months of age that left her blind and deaf.
With the help of an exceptional teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan of the Perkins School for the Blind, Helen Keller learned sign language and braille. A few years later, she learned to speak. As an adult she became a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. And in 1925, she attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness."
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization. We have 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs worldwide.
Lions are everywhere. We're men and women who are active in community projects in over 200 countries and geographic areas.
Lions have a dynamic history. Founded in 1917, we are best known for fighting blindness – it's part of our history as well as our work today. But we also perform volunteer work for many different kinds of community projects – including caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding seniors and the disabled.
Melvin Jones – Biography
Read Melvin Jones' Biography to learn more about the founder of Lions Clubs International:
Melvin Jones was born on January 13, 1879 in Fort Thomas, Arizona, the son of a United States Army captain who commanded a troop of scouts. Later, his father was transferred and the family moved east. As a young man, Melvin Jones made his home in Chicago, Illinois, became associated with an insurance firm and in 1913 formed his own agency.
Beginning in 1917
Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, asked a simple and world-changing question – what if people put their talents to work improving their communities? Almost 100 years later, Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization, with 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs and countless stories of Lions acting on the same simple idea: let's improve our communities.
Lions Clubs – Ready to Help, Worldwide
Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better.