In 1917, Melvin Jones, was a 38-year-old Chicago business leader who told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones' group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The Business Circle subsequently joined one of the invited groups, the "International Association of Lions Clubs" and at a national convention held in Dallas, Texas, later that year, those who were assembled: adopted a Constitution, By-Laws, Code of Ethics and an Emblem; established as a main tenet “unselfish service to others”, unanimously elected Dr. William Perry Woods as its first President effectively securing his leadership for the first two years of the existence of the International Association of Lions, and selected Melvin Jones to serve as the Organization's Secretary-Treasurer.
The Lions motto is "We Serve."
Local Lions Club programs include sight conservation, hearing and speech conservation, diabetes awareness, youth outreach, international relations, environmental issues, and many other programs. The discussion of politics and religion is forbidden.
The LIONS acronym stands for Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations' Safety