Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Societies & Symbols Found In Cemeteries Part 2 of 3 H-L

HOGD Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

This order formed in England at the end of the 19th century. Members believed it was possible to control the forces of nature with magic. Yeats, the poet, and Aleister Crowley were members. Crowley supposedly accomplished the ability to become invisible. Israel Regardie was one of the most important figures in the Golden Dawn. He published many of the rituals and magical material.It is the synthesis of mythical and magical ideas that were adapted from numerous sources such as: Fama Fraternitatis, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Cornelius Agrippa, Tycho Brahe, and John Dee.

HOMS Hermetic Order of the Morning Star

Since its inception in 1888, the traditional Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn has been the most influential force in the modern rebirth of the Western Mystery Tradition. From the neo-pagan revival to the New Age movement, the Golden Dawn's wealth of teachings still has a profound and lasting effect on those who seek spiritual enlightenment in the western world .Today these teachings plus true initiation are invoked by the Hermetic Order of the Morning Star.

The holy symbol of this Order is the sacred Jerusalem cross within a triangle. The triangle is a symbol of the Triune Light. The white cross is a symbol of the Divine Spirit, the Higher Genius which has descended into matter symbolized by the four smaller crosses that are depicted in the colors of Malkuth, the physical plane; the base of the Holy Tree of Life which was planted eastward of the Garden of Eden. The white cross contains a beautiful rose of 7 X 7 petals. This is the symbol of the microprosopus on the Tree of Life (the bottom 7 sephiroth) X each other. It is a symbol of the rescuing light and of Christ who sacrificed the Lower Selfhood which amounts to nothing, for the Higher Selfhood which shares the Glory of God. This is a Jerusalem cross, indicating that the Order is deeply dedicated to peace and equilibrium in Jerusalem which must equally permeate the soul of the adept as well as the uninitiated.
IBBH International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and Helpers

1901 - International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths adds Helpers to the name.
1902 The Helpers Division of the International is formed, with its own local unions. Helpers are barred from sitting in the lodge room with the mechanics.
1906 Kansas City -- 7th convention held in Kansas City, Kansas. Name changed to the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders and Helpers of America. Also at this time, the words "Boiler Makers" are changed to one word, Boilermakers.
1910 St. Louis -- A large and successful convention owing to organization of all the plants of the American Locomotive Works the previous year and the progress in organizing the railroad systems.
1912 Little Rock -- Convention action increases revenues so that a larger strike fund might be created, and larger financial benefits can be provided for the members, increasing death benefits to a maximum of $250 and creating a disability benefit ranging from $200 for an eye to $800 for total permanent disability. Helpers Division is consolidated with parent organization (Mechanics Division), allowing helpers to attend meetings with the mechanics and ending the need for separate helper locals.
1916 During World War 1, the membership grows to 180,000 members as shipyards are being opened by the scores. It is impossible to find a sufficient number of trained ship builders or boilermakers to supply the demands of the government, so men from nearly all trades and walks of life are put to work in the shipyards and boilershops. A large part of these become members of the organization while the war is on, but as soon as the war is was over they return to their former occupations and drop their membership.
1919 International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and Helpers merges with the Brotherhood of Forgers to form the International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and Forgers, which will merge with the Boilermakers in 1953.
1920 The attendance at this convention is the largest by far, with more than 550 delegates from 700 lodges. Many lodges had enormous memberships during the war, reaching into the thousands. Lodge 104 of Seattle is credited with a membership at one time exceeding 16,000. After all the government ships that contracted during the war are completed, most of the shipyards are closed and shipbuilders must seek other lines of work.
1922 -- The Railroad Shipment stages a nation wide strike involving approximately 30,000 boilermakers. As a result, the Union loses a great many of the oldest and staunchest members. Their homes as well as jobs are lost. They can not secure employment at their trade and are must seek other means of earning a living. Many of the railroad systems that had been the backbone of the organization in the past are also lost.
1924 -- The Brotherhood Bank is established, located on the first floor of the Brotherhood Building.
1931 February -- The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers announces their affiliation with the National Building Trades Department of the American Federation of Labor.
1936 -- National Council of United Cement Workers is formed at Dewey Portland Cement in Buffalo, Iowa. This organization grows into the United Cement, Lime, Gypsum and Allied Workers International Union, which merges with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers in 1984.

 IHSV Red Cross of Constantine (Masonic)

The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St John the Evangelist

The Order of The Red Cross Of Constantine is an invitational organization and is considered by many to be the highest honor that can be awarded within York Rite Masonry. The Order is a Degree of Christian Knighthood and Candidates must be both Master Masons and Companions of the Royal Arch. At their Installation they learn of the miraculous victory of Constantine the Great over Emperor Maxentius and his subsequent conversion to Christianity. The Candidate then learns of the banner Constantine, adopted after his vision in the sky, after which they become Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine. The Appendant Orders are conferred at a separate Divisional meeting. The first in a Sanctuary of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre refers to the discovery of the true cross by St Helena the mother of Constantine in the period between the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. The second part of the Ceremony concerns a discovery of a book of singular importance and the formation of the Knights of St John the Evangelist at the time of the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate.

IOA International Order of Alhambra

William Harper Bennett founded the Order of Alhambra on February 29, 1904, in Brooklyn, New York as a Catholic fraternal and social association. It was named after the Alhambra, a Moorish palace in Granada, Spain; where the Moors surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, after occupying Spain for almost 800 years.

Within sight of the Alhambra’s red towers the saintly Columbus received the first favorable reply to his lifelong prayers for assistance to embark on his voyage of discovery. The Order, in addition to adopting the name of the Moorish palace, uses the colorful Oriental costuming and settings. The emblem of the Order is the red tower of Castile surmounting the crescent of the Saracen typifying the triumph of Christianity over the Moors. The Fez worn by members of the Order has this emblem as its prominent centerpiece. The Order has been honored by Pope John Paul II .

IODE Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire

The society was founded in the United States on March 15, 1909, as the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire in the U.S.A., and became the National Society, Daughters of the British Empire in the U.S.A. in 1920. The National Society is incorporated in the state of Delaware.

For over three quarters of a century, The Daughters of the British Empire in the U.S.A. has been a common bond for women of British heritage living in America. Members, joining together in fellowship, contribute significantly to the good of their local communities and support the four retirement homes for men and women established by the DBE.

The DBE is a charitable, non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian, voluntary American society of women of British or Commonwealth birth or ancestry.

IOF Independent Order of Foresters

Formed as a result of a schism from the ANCIENT ORDER OF FORESTERS in 1879. It services as a fraternal benefit insurance society in Canada, the U. K. and the U.S., and admits adults of both sexes. There were approximately 1.4 million members in 1994. In 1864, the first Court in America, No. 4421, was established in Brooklyn, New York. By 1874, there were 64 Courts of the Ancient Order of Foresters in America. The members, desiring independence from the English organization, founded the Independent Order of Foresters at a National Convention on June 16, 1874.

The purpose of this organization was to act as a health and life insurance company for its members. The objectives of the Independent Order of Foresters were to unite fraternally all persons of sound body and mental health and good moral character, under the age of 55; to give moral and material aid to its members and their dependents; to educate the members socially, morally, and intellectually; to establish a fund for the relief of sick and distressed members; to create a benefit fund for death benefits for widows and dependents of members; and to secure for its members free medical attendance, a sick benefit, a funeral benefit, a pension plan for members over the age of 70, and disability benefits.
Over the years, the Foresters have split into several branches: The Independent Order of Foresters, Catholic Order of Foresters, and Ancient Order of Foresters.

IOGT International Order of Good Templars
(aka) Independent Order of Good Templars

The aim of IOGT is the liberation of peoples of the world leading to a richer, freer and more rewarding life. As a means of attaining this aim, IOGT promotes a lifestyle free of alcohol and other drugs.
This order was founded in Utica, New York in 1850 as the "Knights of Jericho," a secret fraternal temperance society.
It used three degrees originally in its ceremonial, and now uses only one. It also used Masonic-like regalia like collars and aprons, but no longer uses regalia. They claimed that their order was better than the Sons of Temperance in that they were not distracted from their primary purpose by offering insurance, and because it admitted women on an equal basis. It admits both men and women into its ranks and is now known as the International Order of Good Templars. Its national magazine is called The Good Templar. Its governing body is the National Council. The I.O.G.T is a world-wide community and is now known as The International Organization of Good Templars, and it’s homepage is

IOH Improved Order of Heptasophs aka Seven Wise Men

The original Order of Heptasophs was founded in 1852 which marks it as one of the country’s earliest fraternal orders. According to Axelrod, there may have been predecessor organizations dating back as far as 1837. The name is derived from Latin roots meaning seven and wise and is generally interpreted to mean seven wise men.

The Improved Order of Heptasophs split off from the original order in 1878. The cause of the split was a disagreement over whether the order should offer life insurance.

Fraternal orders in the late 1800’s were increasingly involved in the life insurance business - their members demanded it - and the IOH reflected that trend. Like most fraternal life insurance societies, the IOH would gradually become less of a fraternity and more of an insurance company and would lose its fraternal identity in a series of mergers with other insurance companies beginning in 1917.

IOHH International Order of Hoo-Hoo

The  International Order of Hoo-Hoo is the oldest industrial Fraternal Organization in existence in the USA, having been organized in January 1892. That it has survived during these years is due to the fact that it has included among its membership, 98,000 men and women whose interests are the welfare and promotion of the lumber industry.

Hoo-Hoo is an organization of individuals dedicated to the idea of a united and progressive forest based industry, contributing to the welfare of the community. It is uniquely constituted as a fraternal order with an industry base.

IOI Independent Order of Immaculates -The Immaculates were an African-American fraternal order started in 1872. It has been extinct for many years. I am currently doing more research into this Order for a future blog post.

IOJD International Order of Jobs Daughters

Mrs. Ethel T. Wead Mick founded the International Order of Jobs Daughters in Omaha. Nebraska, in 1920. The purpose of the Order was to band together young girls with Masonic relationship for character building through moral and spiritual development by teaching a greater reverence for God and the Holy Scriptures: loyalty to the Flag and the Country for which it stands, and respect for parents and Guardians.

Mrs. Mick. realizing the importance of the early training she received from her Christian mother, and especially the beautiful lessons in literature and drama as found in the Book of Job, decided to give her time and talent to make it possible for all young women of Masonic relationship to share the rare privileges that were hers.

The emblems of the Order are the white dove, urn of incense, lilies of the valley, and horn of plenty.

The International Order of Job's Daughters is the ONLY international organization for girls that requires ALL OF ITS MEMBERS to have a relationship to a Master Mason, and while it is no part of the Masonic Fraternity, this pre-requisite ties it closely to the Masonic Order. (A daughter of a Majority Member shall also be eligible for membership).

IOOF Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization that originated in England and was established in the United States by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819. This fraternal order's main tenets were "to relieve distress, bury the dead, and educate the orphan." Some of the organization's activities included financial and physical aid to the elderly and needy, community work, youth programs, patriotic and social activities, and health care issues.

Odd Fellowship became the 1st national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the beautiful Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868-1873. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for our senior members and for orphaned children.

PM - IOOF- Patriarchs Militant the uniformed branch of Independent Odd Fellows

The first movements toward the creation of a Uniformed Branch for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows date back to 1841, some 22 years after the establishment of the first Odd Fellows lodge in North America. In the session of the Grand Lodge of the United States (the title of the Sovereign Grand Lodge until 1879) that year, legislation was passed prohibiting members of the Order from wearing regalia and emblems in public, except at funerals.

LAPM Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant, Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
Society swords marked IOOF (Independent Order of Odd Fellows), TH (Temple of Honor-Independent Order of Odd Fellows), GUO of OF (Grand United Order of Odd Fellows), and PM (Patriarchs Militant) were used by Independent Order of Odd Fellows. One old and apparently authoritative history of Odd Fellowship gives the explanation, "That common laboring men should associate themselves together and form a fraternity for social unity and fellowship and for mutual help was such a marked violation of the trends of the times (England in the 1700's) that they became known as 'peculiar' or 'odd,' and hence they were derided as 'Odd Fellows.' Because of the appropriateness of the name, those engaged in forming these unions accepted it. When legally incorporated the title 'Odd Fellows' was adopted. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819 when Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge
received its charter from Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England. Odd Fellowship became the 1st national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851, which is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868-1873. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for senior members and for orphaned children.

I. O. St. L. Independent Order of St. Luke

The Right Worthy Grand Council Independent Order of St. Luke was established in 1867 by Mary Prout of Baltimore, Maryland. It was organized to "promote the general welfare of society by uniting fraternally Negro persons of good moral character who are physically, morally, and socially acceptable, to educate and assist its members in thrift, to create and maintain funds out of which members...may receive benefits for themselves or their beneficiaries, [and] to provide death benefit protection to members" (Rules and Regulations handbook, 1933). As a life insurance organization for blacks, it was chartered in Virginia in 1914 with its headquarters in Richmond. Chapters also existed in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

IOR Independent Order of Rechabites

This men's secret fraternal order was founded in the United States in 1842 as spin-off society of the English Independent Order of Rechabites, which was organized in 1835. It was a total abstinence secret society which used a three degree form of ritual for its members. Organized in "tents" (lodges), the Rechabites took their name and ritual from the Holy Bible, in which Jeremiah the prophet described the Rechabites who abstained from wine and lived in tents.

A separate organization, the United Daughters of Rechab, was established for women. The Independent Order of Rechabites' "High Tent" or grand lodge was based in Washington, DC. Both orders are defunct.

IORG International Order of Rainbow Girls (Masonic Auxiliary)

This youth organization is comprised of girls between the ages of 11 and 20 and sponsored by Masonic Lodges, Chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star, Courts of Amaranth, or White Shrine of Jerusalem. Girls are NOT required to have a Masonic affiliation to be members of this organization.

IORM Improved Order of Redmen (Sons of Liberty)

In 1896 the IORM had 161,408 members
This order claimed to be the oldest secret society of purely American origin. However, it was actually founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1834. A Society of Red Men was founded in 1813, but the Improved Order of Red Men sought to distance itself from the Society of Red Men due to its known love of the "fire water." Indian nomenclature was established in the Improved Order. Local tribes met in wigwams and initiated palefaces into their secrets upon payment of wampum. The Improved order was modeled after the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and used the legend of Hiram Abiff (of Masonic legend) - which became its third degree.

IOV International Order of Vikings

As a fraternal benefit society they provide cultural and financial benefits to members. The organization was founded over 100 years ago and has grown to encompass many subordinate lodges throughout the US.  Scandinavian founders endeavored to retain the Scandinavian traditions of the past as the spirit of forming the IOV. The goals then are the same as they are now: unity of fellowship, help in time of need, and a sound investment in the future.

IUOM Independent United Order of Mechanics

The United American Mechanics was a secret, patriotic, benevolent society, founded at Philadelphia in 1845. Only native Americans were eligible to membership. Among the objects of the society were: the exhibition of the flag on public schools; the restriction of immigration; opposition to any union of church and state; practical business aid to members; and relief for their widows and orphans. It was the parent of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, which was formed at Germantown, PA, in 1853 in order to train younger members for the senior order. In 1885, the junior order separated from the older society, which it went on to surpass in size and activity. The organization paid sick benefits to members and funeral benefits to their beneficiaries.

The United American Mechanics more than any other imitator of Freemasonry's structure and symbolism sought to co-opt for itself the good-will and respect associated with Freemasonry by the square and compass emblem of Masonry.

The only feature distinguishing the United American Mechanic's emblem from that of Freemasonry was that the United American Mechanics placed a bent arm holding a hammer as if to strike within the square and compass. Freemasonry either places nothing inside the square and compass or it places the letter "G." It is ironic that the UAM and its progeny the JUAM, should co-opt the square and compass since some of its tenets were inimical to those of Freemasonry which seeks the advancement of all mankind.

KC, KOC, K of C Knights of Columbus

American Roman Catholic society for men, founded 1882 at New Haven, Conn. (where its headquarters are still located), by Father Michael J. McGivney. Its mission is to encourage fraternity and benevolence among its members, to promote tolerance, to encourage civic loyalty, and to protect the interests of the Roman Catholic Church

This is the world's largest organization of Catholic men and their families. They looked to the Masonic Lodge for its model. They use passwords, signs, and grips. They take pride in providing insurance policies to members. There are currently about 11,000 councils internationally.

KGC Knights of the Golden Circle

A secret order of Southern sympathizers in the North during the Civil War. Its members were known as Copperheads. The Copperheads were a vocal group of Democrats in the Northern United States Union who opposed the American Civil War, wanting an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates. Republicans started calling anti-war Democrats "Copperheads", likening them to the poisonous snake. The Peace Democrats accepted the label, but for them the copper "head" was the likeness of Liberty, which they cut from copper pennies and proudly wore as badges. Dr. George W. L. Bickley, a Virginian who had moved to Ohio, organized the first “castle,” or local branch, in Cincinnati in 1854 and soon took the order to the South, where it was enthusiastically received. Its principal object was to provide a force to colonize the northern part of Mexico and thus extend pro slavery interests, and the Knights became especially active in Texas. Secession and the outbreak of the Civil War prompted a shift in its aims from filibustering in Mexico to support of the new Southern government. Appealing to the South's friends in the North, particularly in areas that were suffering economic dislocation, the order soon spread to Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. Its membership in these states, where it became strongest, was largely composed of Peace Democrats, who felt that the Civil War was a mistake and that the increasing power of the federal government was leading toward tyranny. They did not, however, at this time engage in any treasonable activity. In late 1863 the Knights of the Golden Circle was reorganized as the Order of American Knights and again, early in 1864, as the Order of the Sons of Liberty, with Clement L. Vallandigham, most prominent of the Copperheads, as its supreme commander. Only a minority of its membership was radical enough—in some localities—to discourage enlistments, resist the draft, and shield deserters.

KGE or K. of G. E. Knights of the Golden Eagle

Founded by John E. Burbage of Baltimore, Maryland in 1873. There were three degrees: Pilgrim, Knight, and Crusader. Combination of secret society and religious movement (Evangelical Protestant). The order offered sick and funeral benefits. The individual who shot President McKinley was supposedly a member of the Cleveland Lodge. In 1896 the KGE had 58,535 members.

KGR or KOTGR Knights of the Golden Rule

Organized by survivors of the yellow fever epidemic of 1878. Shortly after its formation, ladies were admitted and the organization became the KNIGHTS AND LADIES OF THE GOLDEN RULE. Disappeared in the early 1900s.

KI Kiwanis International

The first Kiwanis club was organized in Detroit, Michigan. The group received a charter from the state of Michigan on January 21, 1915, and this is regarded as the birth date of Kiwanis.
The first clubs were organized to promote the exchange of business among the members.

However, even before the Detroit club received its state charter, the members were distributing Christmas baskets to the poor. A lively debate ensued between those who supported community service as the Kiwanis mission and those who supported the exchange of business. By 1919, the service advocates won the debate.

Kiwanis became international with the organization of the Kiwanis club of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1916. Kiwanis limited its membership to the United States and Canada until 1962, when worldwide expansion was approved. Since then, Kiwanis has spread to all inhabited continents of the globe. Kiwanis was defined as “an organization for men” in the constitution and adopted in 1924. In 1987, after several years of debate and growing support, women’s membership received overwhelming approval.

KM Knights of Malta, Order of Malta (Masonic)

The Irish Knights of Malta is the next step of advancement from the Independent Orange Institution. In fact, in Ireland one can only progress to the Knights of Malta via this organization. This so-called Protestant Order developed from the papist Scottish Knights of Malta, which in turn has its origins in the papal inspired crusades of the dark ages as the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.

Today it shares many of the same heathenish practices as Templarism worldwide.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, often referred to as the Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, was founded in Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade. It is one of the oldest religious orders of the Catholic Church, an international hospitaller and relief organization, and a sovereign entity under international law.

KKK or KoKKK Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as The Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present right-wing organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy and nationalism. The current manifestation is splintered into several chapters and is widely considered to be a hate group. The first KKK flourished in the South in the 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s. The second KKK flourished nationwide in the early and mid 1920s, and adopted the costumes and paraphernalia of the first Klan. The third Klan emerged after World War II. Their iconic white costumes consisted of robes, masks, and conical hats. The first and third KKK had a well-established record of using terrorism, but historians debate how central that tactic was to the second KKK.
Like many ativist organizations opposed to immigration, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan responded to cultural changes brought about not only by immigration, but also by changes in the American economy and society after the First World War. Rapid technological, economic, demographic, social, and cultural changes understandably created confusion and cultural tension in the early 1920s. Mass production, mass consumption, mass communications, and mass culture undermined the familiar cultural codes and traditional morals and values. The Ku Klux Klan attempted to resist challenges to traditional morality by enlisting native, white, Protestant Americans who exhibited character, morality, Christian values, and "pure Americanism. However the KKK is usually associated with extreme racism, protest marches and violence against integration efforts and those who are not of pure "white" decent. I am currently doing a research project of the Complete History of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan for our MSSPI Research Room Blog in the coming month or so . So please check the site for updates if you are interested in knowing more detailed history.

KMC Knights of the Mystic Chain (NRF)*
AOKMC Ancient Order Knights of the Mystic Chain

The AOKMC was founded in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1870. Though it seems to have been quite popular in PA, it doesn’t seem to have made much headway outside of that state—it is not listed among the top forty fraternal orders in the world almanac of 1896 and probably had no more than 10,000-15,000 members at its peak. Like most small orders, it did not survive the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Virtually all jewels, medals, and pins from this order seem to be found in Pennsylvania. Almost certainly a splitter group of the Knights of Pythias—21 of the founding members were Pythians. There are numerous other similarities. Like the Pythians, they called their lodges Castles and the MC Degrees of Esquire, Sir Knight, and Knight of the Round Table closely resemble the Pythian ranks of Page, Esquire, and Knight.

KOTM or K. of T. M. Knights of the Maccabees

Variously known as the Knights (and Ladies) of the Maccabees, Maccabees of the World, Macabees, Women’s Benefit Association. The original early biblical Maccabees were a priestly family of Jews who organized a successful rebellion against the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV and reconsecrated the defiled Temple of Jerusalem. In 1896, the Knights of the Maccabees had a membership of 209,831. The Knights of the Maccabees were a fraternal and benevolent "legal reserve society." Families of deceased members received benefits in the form of legal-reserve insurance. All white persons of sound health and good character, from birth to 70 years of age, were eligible for membership. Their name comes from the Biblical Maccabees. The order was founded in London, Ontario in 1878 and reorganized in 1883. Before 1914, it was known as the Knights of the Maccabees. Subsequent to 1914, it has been simply been called "The Maccabees". At one time, about one third of membership was in Michigan. Thirty years ago, their national headquarters was located at 5057 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI. From "History of Genesee County, Michigan Vol. 1, - 1916": Knights of the Maccabees of the World, organized originally in Canada, was incorporated in Michigan in 1884. Originally it operated on an assessment basis; whenever a member died, each living member was assessed 10 cents to go into a pot to provide the widow $1000. After reorganization, it became much more sophisticated. In 1896 the AOTM had 209,831 members

KP, K. of P. : Knights of Pythias

Pythian Sisters Organized in 1888 in Concord, NH as a female auxiliary of the Knights of Pythias. Still active.
The Order of Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, DC, February 19, 1864,. They claim to promote friendship among men and to help relieve people's suffering. It bases its rituals on the story of Damon and Pythias. It borrowed elements from the Masons and Red Men. Today there are about 2000 lodges in the USA and Canada. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was initiated into the Knights of Pythias in 1936 in a special ceremony in the diplomatic reception room of the white house. Pythian Sisters is the women's branch of the Knights of Pythias.  In 1896 the Knights of Pythias had 456,944 members.

KPC Knights of Peter Claver

The Knights of Peter Claver, Inc. is a National Catholic Fraternal Organization comprising of Men, Women, Young Men and Young Ladies.
The Order was founded November 7, 1909 at Mobile, Alabama; by four Priests of the St. Joseph’s Society of the Sacred Heart (The Josephite Fathers) of Baltimore, Maryland .

K. of St. J. Knights of St. John

Knights Hospitalers, members of the military and religious Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, sometimes called the Knights of St. John and the Knights of Jerusalem. The symbol of the Order of St. John came to be a white cross worn on a black robe; thus the Hospitalers were the Knights of the White Cross, in contradistinction to the Knights Templars, the Knights of the Red Cross.
The Maltese cross has been used by various secret organizations, which have been falsely alleged to have a connection with the Knights of St. John.

KT, KofT Knights of Tabor aka Knights of Liberty

The Knights of Liberty was a secret African American organization, reportedly organized by twelve black men meeting privately in St. Louis, Missouri in August 1846. They were also known as the Knights of Tabor or the International Order of Twelve. Their goal was nothing less than the destruction of slavery. Their plans are unverified, but it is likely they were planning to undertake some kind of military action.The Knights took the name Tabor from the Bible. Tabor is a mountain in northern Israel where an army of God's people, the Israelites, won a decisive victory over their enemies, the Canaanites.

The Knights claimed a peak membership of nearly 50,000, and they estimated that over ten years they helped some 70,000 slaves escape from slavery over the clandestine Underground Railroad. Apparently the Knights abandoned their plans in 1856 because they believed that tensions between the free North and the slave South were leading to a national civil war that would bring slavery to an end. Following the Civil War, the leaders founded a benevolent fraternal society called the International Order of the Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor.

KT Knights Templars (Masonic)

Traces of the Masonic Knights-Templar rites were first found in England in the 1760s, and in many cases appear to have been worked in Royal Arch Chapters. Despite the insertion of the words "including the degrees of orders of chivalry" in the Act of Union of the two Grand Lodges in 1812, the Knights Templar ceremonies appeared to cease operations until the end of the eighteenth century when attempts to build a Convent General incorporation England Ireland and Scotland ceased.
The Knights Templar is equal to the 32nd degree Mason and gives them the opportunity to join the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
L or LCI Lions Club International

Since 1917, Lions clubs have offered people the opportunity to give something back to their communities. From involving members in projects as local as cleaning up an area park or as far-reaching as bringing sight to the world's blind, Lions clubs have always embraced those committed to building a brighter future for their community.
Today with more than 46,000 clubs in 192 countries and geographical areas, Lions have expanded their focus to help meet the ever-increasing needs of our global community.

LGAR Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic

The first Grand Army of the Republic was organized April 6, 1866 by Benjamin F. Stephenson of Decatur, Illinois. Their first convention was held November 20, 1866. In 1882 Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, Paul Vandervoot of Nebraska, requested a hearing for the purpose of effecting an Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. At the opening of the hearing, held July 26, 1883 in Denver, Colorado, emphasis was placed on the statement that the new organization of Loyal Ladies League would be considered the Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic and receive its official recognition. A strenuous debate ensued concerning eligibility. The Woman's Relief Corps wished to accept all women to membership and the Loyal Ladies League wanted to limit membership to blood relatives. The final vote was in favor of Woman's Relief Corps.

In November 1886, the Loyal Ladies League changed its name to Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic and dropped the phrase, "Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic."

Membership is open to female descendants , and legally adopted daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors and marines of the Civil War, 1861 to 1865, ex-army nurses of that War, are also eligible to membership. The primary purpose of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic Inc. is stated in the Act of the United States Congress incorporating it. "To perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the men who saved the Union in 1861 to 1865; to assist in every practicable way in the preservation and making available for research of documents and records pertaining to the Grand Army of the Republic and its members; to cooperate in doing honor to all those who have patriotically served our country in any way; to teach patriotism and the duties of citizenship, the true history of our country, and the love and honor of our flag; to oppose every tendency or movement that would weaken loyalty to, or make for the destruction or impairment of, our constitutional Union; and to inculcate and broadly sustain the American principles of representative government, of equal rights and of impartial justice for all."
LOAW League of American Wheelman now The League of American Bicyclists
The League was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as "wheelmen", were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians. In an effort to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, over 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the League to advocate for paved roads. The success of the League in its first advocacy efforts ultimately led to our national highway system.
LOOM Loyal Order of the MOOSE

aka Mooseheart Legions of the World, Legion of the Moose and Moose Legion .Was founded in 1888 in Louisville, Kentucky; re-organized in 1906 under the leadership of future U.S. Sen. James J. Davis.

Around the beginning of the 20th century, the Moose found themselves in a membership slump. The order was in dire straights until James J. Davis began working for the Moose and enrolling thousands of new members. He was responsible for pulling the Moose out of a major membership slump. The Moose Lodge was responsible for providing sick benefits and a small death benefit to its members.

 LOSNA or L.O.S. of N. A.

Organized in Wheeling, West Virginia on February 14th, 1903, the Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America now has 88 Chapters or "Courts" in North America, two of which are located in Canada, and extends to Hawaii. LOSNA is an organization for female members related by birth, marriage to, or adoption of a Shriner. Each court provides financial support and assistance to the Shriners Hospitals as well as personal volunteer work. Annually, the organization is said to contribute an average of 1.61 million dollars and 365,400 personal hours of support.

LOVUS Legion of Valor of the United States

Founded as Medal of Honor Legion - 1890
Chartered by Act of Congress - 1955
The Legion of Valor was organized on April 23, 1890, in Washington, DC, by a group of Civil War and Indian War Campaign veterans who were recipients of the Medal of Honor. At its inception, the name was "The Medal of Honor Legion". The membership was augmented following the Spanish Campaign of 1898 and following the Philippines Insurrection.

The membership was never large and with the passage of years and subsequent demise of members, on November 25, 1918, the recipients of the Army Distinguished Service Cross, the second ranking Army decoration for extraordinary heroism, were admitted to membership. In 1933, members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, who were recipients of the Navy Cross, the second ranking Navy decoration for extraordinary heroism, were invited to join the membership and the name of this prestigious organization was changed to "The Army and Navy Legion of Valor". On August 4, 1955, Public Law 224, 84th Congress, incorporated The Army and Navy Legion of Valor of the United States. With the creation of the Air Force Medal of Honor and the Air Force Cross, the membership invited the recipients of these medals to become members and on June 21, 1961, with P. L. 87-56, the name of this elite organization became the "Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Inc".

A complete source link list will be provided at the conclusion of this blog series in part 3.

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