Toastmasters International: History at a Glance

October 22, 1924
The first meeting of the Number One Toastmasters club in Santa Ana, California.
January 19, 1926
A 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 Dr. Ralph C. 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 California is established in Seattle, Washington.
April 1933
The 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 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
First TI Articles of Incorporation are published.
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.
The first Able Toastmasters Award (ATM) is issued.
Founder Ralph C. Smedley dies. He was born February 22, 1878.
The first Competent Toastmaster Award is issued for completing the Communication and Leadership Program manual.
August 1969
The Communication and Leadership manual is introduced at the International Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
The first Distinguished Toastmaster Award (DTM) is issued.
August 1973
Membership opens to women.
The multi-manual Advanced Communication and Leadership Program is introduced.
The first two Success/Leadership Programs are introduced.
The Accredited Speaker Program begins.
October 1982
Membership reaches 100,000.
April 1983
The Youth Leadership Program is introduced.
The Communication and Leadership Program manual is revised, and two new educational awards are introduced, the ATM Bronze and ATM Silver.
The first woman is elected International President: Helen Blanchard.
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.
The Successful Club Series debut.
January 1993
Toastmasters International charters its 8,000th club.
June 1993
The High-Performance Leadership Program is introduced.
January 1997
The revised Communication and Leadership Program manual is introduced.
July 1997
An improved two-track educational requirement recognition system begins. The communication track includes the CTM, ATM-Bronze, ATM-Silver, and ATM-Gold awards. The leadership track includes the Competent Leader (CL) and Advanced Leader (AL) awards. Requirements for the DTM award also change.
The improved Distinguished Club Program, based on 10 goals, begins.
The Leadership Excellence Series debuts.
August 2001
After 26 years at the helm of Toastmasters International, Executive Director Terrence McCann retires and is succeeded by Executive Director Donna H. Groh
The Communication and Leadership Program manual is revised.
July 2004
Toastmasters International charters its 10,000th club and has more than 200,000 members in 90 countries.
July 2005
Toastmasters International charters its 10,500th club and surpassed 211,000 members in 90 countries.
August 2008
Toastmasters International holds International Conference in Calgary Alberta Canada
October 2014
Toastmasters International celebrates its 90th birthday – the first official meeting was held on October 22, 1924.