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TI History

Toastmasters International is the leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality.  Through local clubs, Toastmasters members learn the arts of speaking, listening and thinking – vital skills that promote self-actualization, enhance leadership, foster human understanding and contribute to the betterment of mankind.  In Toastmasters you can transform yourself into the best communicator and leader that you can be!

The mission of each Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

The items below provide specific information about various aspects of our club and the Toastmasters Organization.

TI History at a Glance

LogoTaglineLockupJPGsm.jpgOctober 22, 1924 - The first meeting of the Number One Toastmasters Club in Santa Ana, California.

January 19, 1926 - The second Toastmasters club is chartered in Anaheim, California.

August 11, 1927 - Representatives of five Santa Ana Toastmasters clubs plan the formation of a "Federation of Toastmasters Clubs."

October 25, 1928 - The first Manual for Toastmasters Clubs is copyrighted by Ralph Smedley.

October 4, 1930 - The name Toastmasters International is adopted and officers are elected.

December 6, 1930 - Publication of The Gavel, the first Toastmasters newsletter.

December 19, 1932 - Toastmasters International is incorporated.

January 9, 1933 - First Toastmasters club outside of California is established in Seattle, Washington.

April 1933 - First issue of The Toastmaster magazine is published.

July 6, 1935 - District organization is instituted, starting with District 1 of Southern California.

October 1935 - First Toastmasters club outside the United States is chartered in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

January 29, 1938 - Charter No. 100 is presented to the Century Toastmasters Club in Santa Ana, California.

August 1938 - Inter-Club Speech Contest started. First winner: Henry Wiens of Reedley, California.

July 1946 - District 18 of Scotland becomes the first district organized outside the United States.

1948 - First TI Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws are published.

1950 - The first "Certificate of Achievement" is issued for the new advanced course, Beyond Basic Training.

June 1951 - First Regional Conference is held in Des Moines, Iowa.

October 27, 1962 - Dedication of new World Headquarters building in Santa Ana, California.

1964 - The first Able Toastmaster (ATM) award is issued.

1968 - The first Competent Toastmaster (CTM) award is issued for completing the manual Basic Training for Toastmasters.

August 1969 - The Communication and Leadership Program manual is introduced at the International Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

1970 - The first Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award is issued. The first woman Toastmaster joins unofficially.

August 1973 - Membership opens to women.

1978 - The multi-manual Advanced Communication and Leadership Program is introduced.

1979 - The first two Success/Leadership programs are introduced.

1981 - The Accredited Speaker Program begins.

October 1982 - Membership reaches 100,000.

1984 - The Communication and Leadership Program manual is revised, and two new educational awards are introduced: the Able Toastmaster Bronze (ATM-B) and Able Toastmaster Silver (ATM-S).

1985 - Helen Blanchard - the first female Toastmaster- becomes the first female International President

April 1989 - Membership reaches 150,000.

July 1989 - The Distinguished Club Program, Distinguished Area Program and Distinguished Division Program are introduced.

June 1990 - World Headquarters moves to Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

January 1993 - Toastmasters International charters its 8,000th club.

January 1997 - The revised Communication and Leadership Program manual is introduced.

July 1997 - An improved two-track educational recognition system begins. The communication track includes the CTM, Advanced Toastmaster Bronze, Advanced Toastmaster Silver and Advanced Toastmaster Gold awards. The leadership track includes the Competent Leader and Advanced Leader awards. Requirements for the DTM award also change.

1999 -The 10-goal Distinguished Club Program is introduced.

2001 - Executive Director Terrence McCann retires and is replaced by Donna Groh.

2004 - Toastmasters International charters its 10,000th club.

2004 - Membership reaches 200,000.

January 2006 - The Competent Leadership manual is introduced.

July 2006 - Award titles in the communication track are renamed, and the leadership track is strengthened and expanded to include the Competent Leader, Advanced Leader Bronze and Advanced Leader Silver awards.


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