The idea of a national institution to represent the unified interests of U.S. business first took shape when President William Howard Taft, in a message to Congress on December 7, 1911, addressed the need for a "central organization in touch with associations and chambers of commerce throughout the country and able to keep purely American interests in a closer touch with different phases of commercial affairs."
Nearly 100 years later, the Chamber has grown to represent more than 3 million businesses, nearly 3,000 state and local chambers, 830 associations, and over 90 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.
The U.S. Chamber and the legacy of Daniel Webster share more than just the hallowed ground that is now 1615 H Street Northwest. This venerable institution and this statesman's spirit share an unwavering commitment to democracy, individual opportunity, and free enterprise. They are forever bonded by the words of Webster, which were inscribed in stone in the original Chamber building:
"Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered." -- Daniel Webster, June 17, 1825, Speech Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Charlestown, Massachusetts