June 6, 1844. The Young Men’s Christian Association, or YMCA, is founded in London by George Williams (later Sir George). The original aim was to provide cheap accommodation and a Christian environment in cities for young migrant workers from rural areas. The movement soon became international; at the first YMCA World Conference in Paris in 1855, nine countries were represented. The YMCA grew in popularity, developing cultural and leisure activities (the YMCA invented basketball!) and today counts 45 million members worldwide from 130 countries. It states its contemporary goal as “social justice and peace for young people and their communities, regardless of religion, race, gender or culture.”
Also on June 6: Queensland separates from New South Wales to become a new state in Australia (1859); founding of the Chrysler Corporation (1925); beginning of Operation Overlord (D-Day) in WWII (1944).
Born on June 6: Diego Velazquez (1599), Thomas Mann (1875), Bjorn Borg (1956)
Back in the Day: fun to be at the YMCA