International Credit Union Day® has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October every year since 1948. It is a day to recognize the progress of the credit union movement and its successes. It is a day to honor those who have led and participated in the movement. It is also a time to reflect upon the hard work of credit union employees and members. But where did it all start?
It all started with one small idea: that people could use their own money and give loans to each other. This is the central idea of the credit union. It evolved from the cooperative time in the early 19th century Europe. The first origins of the credit union came from an 1844 marketing cooperative organized by a workers group in Rochdale, England. That same year in Germany, a man named Victor Aime Huber began developing cooperative theories, which are the root of the credit union philosophy. This is where the idea of the credit society was cultivated.
The first true credit union came about in the mid-19th century and was created by two men, Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. After Germany’s crop failure and famine from 1846 – 1847, the two men began organizing a cooperatively owned mill and bakery. Schulze-Delitzsch founded the first “people’s bank” in 1852 to provide credit to entrepreneurs in the city. Meanwhile, Raiffeisen had founded a credit society that depended on the charity of wealthy men for its support. He continued that concept in 1864 when he created a credit union for farmers using a community first mentality and volunteer management.
Throughout the years, credit unions spread to places around the world. Alphonse Desjardins, Edward A. Filene and Roy F. Bergengren established the first credit union in the United States.
As time went on, there was an increasing desire to establish an occasion to recognize the achievements of the credit union pioneers and the importance of credit unions in communities. On January 17, 1927, the Credit Union League of Massachusetts celebrated the first official holiday for the credit unions. In 1948, the U.S. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) decided to revive the holiday. CUNA set aside the third day of October and is now celebrated internationally.
Park Community Credit Union will be celebrating ICU Day on October 20th, 2016. Each of our branches will have light refreshments and a $25 Kroger Gift Card giveaway if you fill out “What I love about Park Community.” Come out and celebrate the joys of credit unions with us!
Visit our ICU Day Pinterest Page!