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The Circumnavigators Club is an organization for people who have made a trip around the world. Learn more about the Club on the international website. The Chicago chapter sponsors 4 educational events a year plus a December Holiday party.

To raise funds to support the Circumnavigators Foundation, we have a fundraiser each year. One of the main activities of the Foundation is to send carefully selected students (Scholars) on an around the world trip to pursue research. Our creed is:

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See our 2019 events and photos in the archive. Also view all events and photos from 1986 to 2019.
The entire history of the Chicago Chapter can be found grouped by year in the Photos and Events archive.

Below is a listing of our 2020 events. Please reserve these dates on your calendar. Updated information is posted on this page, as it becomes available, from Mary Houston (contact via e-mail), our Vice President of Programs.

Click on the thumbnails for the paper invitation. Click on underlined locations for a Google map.

  • Invitation March 2020 Sunday, March 8th, 2020
    "How to Hide an Empire"
    with NU Professor Daniel Immerwahr
    at Uncommon Ground Restaurant, 1401 West Devon Ave., Chicago.

    1:00pm -- Appetizers and conversation (cash bar)
    1:30pm -- Family Style Lunch at the Farm to Table Restaurant
    2:30pm -- Presentation


    Circumnavigators can sign up for this event using their credit card at eventbrite.com.


  • Invitation June 2020 Saturday, June 6th, 2020
    "Chicago Chapter Student Scholarship Presentation & Fundraiser"
    Featuring Foundation Scholar Christopher LaMountain
    at Your Home via ZOOM: This is a free event.

    2:00pm Chris will show photos & play music of Bahai Temples.
    Pre-Registration Required: Click to Register for A Global Song
    You will be sent a confirmation email on how to join the meeting.
    Zoom is easy to use. We have used it already for an Officer meeting.

    Click on thumnail for pdf with donation details and presentation scope..


  • Invitation Sep 2020 Sunday, September 20th, 2020
    "Travel Around the World with Nancy Schumacher"
    Executive VP of Travel & Tour Operations for National Geographic Partners
    at Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse and Hugo's Frog & Fish House
    1028 North Rush Street, Chicago

    12:30pm -- Gather for appetizers and conversation (cash bar)
    1:00pm -- Lunch with choice of entree
    2:00pm -- Presentation

    Click on thumnail for pdf with payment details.


  • Invitation Dec 2020 Wednesday, December 9th, 2020
    "Holiday Party"
    Featuring Circumnavigator Tall Train Tales
    at Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago

    6:00pm -- Gather for conversation (cash bar)
    7:00pm -- Dinner
    8:15pm -- Program

    Click on thumnail for pdf with payment details.



On March 8, 2020, we gathered at the Uncommon Ground Restaurant, 1401 West Devon Ave., Chicago. Our speaker, NU Professor Daniel Immerwahr treated us to a fascinating relook at American History to understand the Greater United States. This was an exceptionally well received talk notable for its big picture reassessment of American History and spiced with many intriguing details.

And only one week later we may say that his talk was part of some Great Before (the Corona Virus) since in the week that followed we have already experienced a cultural shift notable for a massive plunge in the stockmarket, declarations of Emergency at Federal, State and local levels with curtailments in international travel and wide spread closing of schools and some businesses. At at a personal level substitutes for handshakes have made their appearance first at our event and on TV at the Presidential level. Will this be some passing fad or some profound shift into a kind of social distancing? Time will tell.

Professor Immerwahr's book, How to Hide an Empire, (See Amazon for all variants) was highly recommended by Jim Franch, our VP of Membership. The main theme was the US had an empire that was never explicitly acknowledged. This is a contrast to the British Empire which was explicitly celebrated by the British as the largest empire in human history. In the case of the American Empire, it was not even acknowledged on December 7, 1941 when FDR focused on Pearl Harbor and barely mentioned the Philippines, which was also attacked by the Japanese Empire that day.

For example, in the Philippines, US territory from 1898 to 1946, almost a million civilians and military were killed in WWII. This is more than the total of both North and South in the US Civil War and about twice the US military deaths in WWII.

We had our usual drinks and discussion before the talk, celebrated a new member, our Foundation Scholar and several guests.

Mar2020Photo1 Mar2020Photo2 Left: Secretary Don Blom, Webmaster Don Parrish, Jim Houston, Rich Aaron, and President Jeneane Blom.
Right: Guest Catherine Carrigan, Foundation Scholar for 2020 Mandy Davis and Treasurer, Barbara Franch.
Mar2020Photo3 Mar2020Photo4 Left: Guests Diane & Eric Thurman and David Warning.
Right: Susan Nelson gets membership certificate from Jim Franch.
Mar2020Photo5 Mar2020Photo6 Left: Don, David, Daniel, Catherine, former President Karen Schlueter, Eric & Diane, and Jeneane.
Right: Judy & John Meade, Pat Young, Jim Keating, Mandy, Dinah Jacobs, and Jaclyn & Kent Winship
Mar2020Photo7 Mar2020Photo8 Left: Susan, Mary & Jim Houston, Don, Jan & Rich Aaron, and Barbara.
Right: Professor Immerwahr, wanders around sharing insights and ancedotes.
Mar2020Photo9 Mar2020Photo10 Left: Daniel Immerwahr and his book cover art showing American's empire at scale fits inside the continental USA.
Right: Continental USA, with Alaska, the Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other islands of the Pacific & the Caribbean drawn to scale.
Mar2020Photo11 Mar2020Photo12 Left: 1898 Canadian stamp proclaiming the British Empire largest in history. Empire Day celebrated on May 24th.
Right: The US empire was celebrated sub rosa on June 14th, Flag Day.

On June 6, 2020, we had our first Zoom meeting. In 2020 during the Covid pandemic crisis, Zoom became the techology solution for organizations to gather on the internet in lieu of meeting in person. Illinois was still under lockdown restrictions when we had our annual Fundraiser for Foundation Scholars.

What is Zoom? The Wikipedia article gives the basic overview. The incredible acceleration of its business in 2020 was recognized when it joined the NASDAQ-100 index on April 30, 2020. The company website is here. The company was founded in 2011 and had a decade to grow and polish its product when the Covid Pandemic skyrocketed its product. Our chapter stayed in the mainstread using it in 2020. Our meeting was conducted by Keith Sbiral, our Co-Director of Publicity.

Our chapter has been one of the most active in supporting Foundation Scholars in the Circumnavigators Club. Every year of the 21st century, we have supported a student to make a circumnavigation of our planet in order to do research on a topic of their choice. See all of our Scholars here.

Chris LaMountain made his circumnavigation last summer. His topic was "A Global Song: Investigating the Global Diversity of Baha'i Temple Music". There are only 8 Baha'i temples on our planet. And the only Baha'i temple in North America is a ten minute walk from the Northwestern temple.

This year our Foundation Scholar from 2019, Chris LaMountain made his presentation via Zoom. First he explained an overview of his trip, then showed a YouTube video of his trip. And, of course, answered our many questions. His 32 minute YouTube impressed us with its contents and technical polish. And, of course, there were musical selections in his YouTube.

The 2 photos below are screen shots taken by our technical host Keith Sbiral. Click to enlarge the photos. This rectangle of individual locations is what our club members see on their home computers or iPads. As members join or drop out, the Zoom software automatically reconfigures the rectangle. And members can freely move off camera to get a drink of water or whatever. Some members only had an audio connection. In general, members had a good experience with Zoom. This and similar technologies were all the rage around the world in 2020 to cope with social distancing restrictions. While Chris was making his presentation, the audience members were not visible to each other. One advanced point is that members (for example, Dan, Don and Keith) can select some favorite photo instead of the actual backround of their room.

Zoom Photo 1 Zoom Photo2