The United States Jaycees History

Throughout the years, Jaycees have made a tremendous impact on the world around them. Since the Jaycees were founded nationally in 1920, more than 11 million young adults in the U.S. and 20 million worldwide have become leaders through the Jaycees. Below is the impressive timeline of the contributions that the Jaycees have made to our country.

1920s

  • Jaycee Charles Lindbergh works with the Jaycee organization to help develop the U.S. Airmail Service.

1930s

  • A Jaycee president suggests to President Herbert Hoover that he form the Young Republicans club.
  • Jaycees help form the National Wildlife Federation.
  • The Jaycees campaign for an expansive national forest on the Minnesota-Canada border, leading to the eventual creation of Quetico Provincial Park in Canada and Superior National Forest in Minnesota.

1940s

  • Jaycees lead national efforts to help war veterans adjust to civilian life.
  • Jaycees lead all national organizations in gathering scrap, selling war bonds and stamps, obtaining blood plasma, and generating services for soldiers during World War II.

1950s

  • Jaycees are said to have contributed more time and money to build and improve local libraries than what was provided by the federal government.
  • Jaycees impressed teenagers with safe driving methods through the Teenage Safe Driving Road-e-o.
  • The Junior Chamber was a leading group in supporting statehood for Hawaii in 1951 and for Alaska in 1959.
  • Jaycees raise $300,000 to help finance the 1956 U.S. Olympic Team.

1960s

  • The nation’s traffic ordinances and highway signs are virtually uniform today because Jaycees in the early 1960’s worked hard to create and enact the Uniform Vehicle Code.
  • In many communities not serviced by aircraft, Jaycees helped build landing strips for light planes.
  • Jaycees conduct programs to combat air and water pollution years ahead of widespread public concern.

1970s

  • More than 23 million Americans were reached through Operation Threshold, a Jaycee program launched in 1972 to reduce alcohol abuse.
  • More than 3 million volunteer hours were provided by Jaycees to help administer 7 million doses of rubella measles vaccine.

1980s

  • The Jaycees’ Sign-Up America campaign collected 1.5 million signatures supporting America’s Olympic athletes.
  • The U.S. Jaycees endorsed Campaign for Liberty to encourage public support for restoration of the Statue of Liberty.

1990s

  • The Junior Chamber Mission Inn Foundation was created to build a nationwide network of care facilities for children and adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Jaycees across the nation help families devastated by hurricanes in the southeast and floods in the mid-west.
  • National programs such as Jaycees Against Youth Smoking (JAYS) and Jaycee KidCare I.D. Program (aiding in recovery of missing children) are formed.

The U.S. Junior Chamber boasts a long, proud heritage. Members later became presidents of the United States, politicians, entertainers, and successful business entrepreneurs. Past Jaycee members include Presidents Clinton, Bush, Ford and Nixon, millionaire Howard Hughes, entertainer John Denver, 1988 Miss America winner Kaye Lani Rae Rafko-Wilson, and U.S. Senator Wendell Ford, among others.