History

  • 1905The Toastmasters Journey

    Toastmasters began as a series of speaking clubs organized by Ralph C. Smedley during his time working for the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in Bloomington, Illinois, United States. The first unofficial Toastmasters meeting was held on March 24, 1905.
  • 1924 Forming of Toastmasters International

    The first meeting was held at the YMCA building on October 22, 1924. Word spread about Smedley’s Toastmasters clubs and soon people in surrounding communities and other states were asking how they could start their own club. To save time replying to the many letters and inquiries he was receiving, Smedley wrote the “Manual of Instructions” and “Ten Lessons in Public Speaking,” which he had printed and bound in paper covers.
  • 1928 Copyrights

    On October 25, 1928, he secured copyrights on the publications and trademarked the name “Toastmasters Club.”
  • 1930 First club in British Columbia, Canada

    By 1930, nearly 30 Toastmasters clubs had formed including a club in British Columbia, Canada. To reflect expansion outside of the United States, the newly formed association was re-named Toastmasters International.
  • 1941Smedley Back to Board of Directors

    He resigned as YMCA Secretary in 1941 to devote more time to Toastmasters. Through the war years, he operated the organization out of a small office. When the war ended, a new Secretary, Ted Blanding, replaced Smedley and remained active as Educational Director for the rest of his life, as well as a permanent member of the Board of Directors.
  • 1962Growth of Toastmasters International

    A series of rented office spaces in Southern California served as Toastmasters International’s headquarters until 1962, when the staff moved into the first World Headquarters building in Santa Ana, not far from the YMCA where the first Toastmasters club met.
  • 1965Founder Passed Away

    Ralph C. Smedley died in 1965.
  • 1970 First Female Member

    In 1970, Toastmasters International admitted its first female member, Helen Blanchard, under the name Homer Blanchard. In 1973, Toastmasters began officially admitting women, and in 1985, Helen became Toastmasters’ first female international president.
  • 1996 First Toastmasters Club of Turkey

    The activities of Toastmasters in Turkey took place on March 20, 1996 with the official establishment of Ankara Toastmasters. Ankara Toastmasters has been active as a sole club in our country for a long time.
  • 2007A Club in Istanbul

    18 May 2007 Istanbul Toastmasters started its activities as the second club in our country and following this, the club organizations in our country continued rapidly.

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