The YMCA was founded by George Williams in 1844 as a response to the poor living conditions young men in London, England were exposed to at that time. Williams sought to provide a place where young men could partake in healthy activities for the mind, body and spirit because at the time the options available to young men included taverns and brothels. The YMCA movement quickly spread across England, Scotland and Ireland and in 1851 extended to North America. Williams maintained a lifelong affiliation with the association and in 1894, the fiftieth anniversary of the YMCA's founding, was knighted by Queen Victoria. Sir George died in 1905 and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.
This postcard was taken from the book, "The Life of Sir George Williams" by J.E. Hodder Williams. This edition was printed in London and presented to the YMCA Training School in February 1907 by Howard Williams. The book in which the postcard is located differs from the version of the book that was printed in the United States in that the U.S. version does not contain postcards and personal memorabilia. This postcard and other postcards in the book seem to have been tipped in after the printing of the book, but it is not known who did this. Both editions can be found in the Rare Books Collection of Springfield College.
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