In 1956 Samuel Shenton founded the International Flat Earth Society. The FES gained publicity in 1964 following the beginning of manned spaceflight and articles about Shenton in [i]The New York Times[/i].
Samuel Shenton died in 1971, and Charles K. Johnson created the International Flat Earth Society of America after inheriting part of Shenton's library and was able to raise membership to 3,000 people.
However by 1980 the FES fell to 200 members. A house fire and the death of Johnson's wife further afflicted the FES in America. Johnson died on March 19, 2001, and the society no longer took in new members.
In 2004, Daniel Shenton (unrelated to Samuel Shenton) revived the FES via web forum and the society was officially restarted in October 2009.