Our Story

The History of JCI

With a rich heritage spanning over 100 years, we have a unique and interesting story to tell.

JCI was built on the idea that the improvement of our society and environment is paramount, and to this day, we strive to honour this ethos.

Click or tap below to see how JCI has developed over the years.



JCI founder Henry Giessenbier Jr. founded the Herculaneum Dance Club in 1910. In 1914, they merged with six other dance clubs to form the Federation of Dance Clubs and Giessenbier was elected President.

However, he wanted to be part of something more focused on community engagement.

Laying Foundations


The Mission Inn, formerly located at the corner of Grand and Magnolia, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. was the birthplace of the Junior Chamber Movement.

The Mission Inn was the first place where JCI founder Henry Giessenbier Jr. was able to put his dream to reality of forming an organization to study civic and business problems and provide opportunity to participate in civic community activities.

As President of the Federation of Dance Clubs, he led an important meeting on October 13, 1915, at the Mission Inn in St. Louis, Missouri. It was at this gathering that 32 young men agreed to form the Young Men’s Progressive Civic Association (YMPCA), developing their skills as leaders by tackling difficult civic problems.

Formation Of JCI As We Know It


The historic first meeting held in Mexico City, Mexico, was where Junior Chamber International was formed. The first National Organizations forming JCI were Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the United States.

First Official Meeting

A Charter From the US President


United States Vice President Richard Nixon presented a charter to Vietnam JCI members.

Operation Brotherhood was a project that consisted of massive international fundraising to provide food, clothing and medical care for Vietnamese refugees.

At the conclusion of the project, a total of 721,379 refugees had been treated and 5,023 surgical operations had been performed.