It was over 100 years ago on February 6th, 1898 the Fraternal
Order of Eagles was founded by six theater owners sitting on a pile of lumber in
Moran's shipyard in Seattle Washington. Competitors in the theater industry,
they met to discuss a musicians strike. After deciding what to do on that issue,
they decided to bury the hatchet and form an organization dubbed "The Order
of Good Things".
The first meetings were held on the stages of various local theaters and
after the business was settled a keg of beer was rolled out and all enjoyed a
few hours of social activities. A few weeks later as their numbers grew they
chose the Bald Eagle as their official emblem and changed the name to "The
Fraternal Order of Eagles." The membership formed a Grand Aerie in April
1898, secured a charter, drew up a constitution and by-laws and elected it's
first president, John Cort.
Most of the first Eagle members were connected with the theatre, actors,
stagehands, playwrights, etc., and as they went on tour they carried the story
of the new order with them across the United States and Canada. This is the
reason the Eagles grew so quickly and all the way across the country. Many
cities in the east have low Aerie numbers such as New York #40, Philadelphia #42
and Buffalo #46.
The idea spread like wildfire. The order was unique in it's concept of
brotherhood and it's early success has been attributed to it's establishment of
a sick and funeral benefit (no Eagle was ever buried in a "Potter's
Field"), along with provisions for an Aerie physician and other
"fringe benefits", unknown in other fraternal organizations up to that
As the Eagles grew, so did its responsibilities to it's members. Its first
Constitution and By-Laws were merely copied from those previously used by a
defunct fraternal organization and it took later members like Frank Hering - the
"Father of Mothers Day," and long time editor of the National Eagle
Publication - to revise the By-Laws and make them unique from any other
Hering, a member of South Bend Aerie No. 435, who had been Notre Dame's
first Athletic Director and a great football quarterback and baseball player,
wrote the order's funeral service. When he died in 1943 his stirring words were
recited over his own body by Grand Worthy president Lester Loble. It was men
like Hering who kept the Eagles from going under during the difficult days at
the turn of the century and built the solid foundation it rests on today.
Over the years, the Eagles have fought and won many bitter battles for a
Workman's Compensation Act, Mothers and Old Age Pensions, Social Security laws
and "Jobs After 40" and are still fighting to liberalize present
social benefits along with combating vicious diseases plaguing mankind through
their sponsorship of the Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund, Max Bear Heart Fund, Jimmy
Durante Children's Fund, "Doc" Dunlap Kidney Fund and the Diabetes
Many great social and political leaders have belonged to the Eagles.
President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the many who joined and praised the
order for its humanitarian accomplishments, as did a later Roosevelt - Franklin
D. President Harry S. Truman often reiterated that the Eagles were his
type of organization - one founded by, and for the common man.
As you learn about our history, you will see we are just like you. Proud,
Caring, People Helping People, that understand that the needs of the many will
always outweigh the needs of the few.
Over 100 years of Fraternal Service
THE STORY OF THE EAGLES is a story of fraternal crusading. There is
something about the Fraternal Order of Eagles that is different, distinctive,
something not to be found in any other Order,"
Since February of 1898, when the Order was founded by six theater owners in a
Seattle waterfront shipyard, the Eagles not only welcomed the average man as a
member, but fought for his right to a life of dignity and self-respect. To call
the roll of early Eagle crusades -- for Workmen's Compensation Act, Mother's
Pensions, Old Age Pensions and Social Security Laws - is to know what the
Hoosier Congressman Louis Ludlow had in mind when he said of the Order, "It
reaches out and tries to help in solving the distressing and difficult problems
of human relief."
As the late Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested they be, Eagles' crusades are
"The pen I am presenting to the order is a symbol of my approval of
the Fraternity's vision and courage," said Roosevelt when he signed the
Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935, and gave the pen he used to the Eagles.
"May its possession inspire your members to rededicate their efforts and
those of the fraternity to the insuring of such economic and political
conditions as well being a greater degree of happiness to our people."
February 6 -- The anniversary of the founding of the Eagles -- is a road
marker, pointing the way to the future as well as commemorating the progress
that we have made. To Eagle programs for Old Age Security, Cancer Research,
Youth Guidance and Inter-Faith Brotherhood must be added resolute Eagle support
for making democracy work and helping freedom ‘ring round the world. For
Eagledom, more than anything else, is a dream -- the dream that ordinary men and
women everywhere are entitled to and shall enjoy the right to life, to liberty
and to the pursuit of happiness with some reasonable chance of catching up to it
in their lifetimes.
Fraternal Order of Eagles Milestone of
1904 On February 7th Frank E. Hering
made the first known public plea for a nationwide observance for Mother's Day.
1908 Sponsored America's first Mother's Pension Law.
1911 Grand Worthy President Frank E. Hering during his travels of the country
pushes for a nationwide observance for Mother's Day.
1911 Sponsored America's First Workmen's Compensation Laws.
1912 Grand Aerie approves statute urging Aeries to hold Memorial Services on
1914 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson by proclamation designates the second Sunday
in May as Mother's Day.
1923 Sponsored America's First Old Age Pension Law.
1923 25th Anniversary
1925 The Society of American War
Mothers proclaim Frank E. Hering "The Father of Mother's Day".
1926 Creation and Formation of Ladies Auxiliaries
1931 Plaque dedicated at the English Opera House to honor Frank Hering's first
public plea for a nationwide observance for Mother's Day.
1935 Supported Enactment of Social Security Law.
1941 Dedicated "Eagle Dormitory" at Boy's Town, Nebraska.
1944 Established the Eagles Memorial Foundation.
1948 50th Anniversary
1950 Financed the entrance of The Chapel of the Four
1953 Established Eagle Haus in Free Berlin, Germany.
1957 Inaugurated Nation-wide "Jobs After 40" program.
1959 Established EAGLE-CARE Trade School in Naples, Italy. Established Max Baer
1960 Dedicated "Eagle Hall" at Home on the Range for Boys in North
1961 Dedicated "Eagle Village" in Florida as senior Eagle retirement
1962 Established EAGLE-CARE Trade School in Abadan, Iran.
1963 Established "Eagle House" in Benyan, Turkey.
1964 Established "Eagle House" in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
1965 Established "Eagle House" in Israel and Tunisia.
1966 Establishment of Ralph Bird Memorial Library at Eagle Village.
1967 Establishment of Jimmy Durante Children's Fund.
1968 Established "Eagle House" in Columbia, South America.
1969 Established "Eagle House" in the Phillipine Islands.
1970 Established "Eagle Ridge Village" in Topeka, Kansas.
1971 Established "Max Schroeder Eagle House" in South Korea.
1972 Established Golden Eagle Fund.
1973 75th Anniversary
1974 Established "Jimmy Durante Eagle House" in
1975 Initiated Blow the Whistle on Crime program.
1976 Instituted the first European Aerie.
1977 Established EAGLE-CARE Weaving Center in Guatemala.
1978 Established "Hubert H. Humphrey Eagles Care School" in Honduras.
Established Robert W. Hansen Diabetes Fund.
1979 First Telethon for Hughen School for Children in Point Arthur, Texas.
1980 Eagles Bob Hope High School dedicated at Hughen School for Children in Point Arthur, Texas.
1982 Eagles-CARE Poland Food Program.
1983 Max Baer Heart Fund offers first Grant. First Memorial Foundation College
Scholarship to graduate of Bob Hope High School.
1984 $405,000 donated to Eagles Truman Cardiovascular Lab at Research Medical
Center, Kansas City. President Truman was a Life-Time
Eagle member. Golden Eagle Fund starts program of
$5,000 Grants to institutions doing Alzheimer's disease research.
1985 Eagles mark $1 million in donations to St. Jude's Hospital. Established
Child Abuse Hot Line at Child Help USA.
1986 Eagles launch "Crack down on Crack" drive. Contributions to
Eagles Max Baer Heart fund Research Lab at Sutter Medical Research
1987 Eagles-CARE drive to help the poor in Belize is launched. Eagles honor the
Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery with a
plaque on February 2, 1987. Ground-breaking for
24 new cottages at Eagle Village.
1988 Matching Grants up to $500 offered Aerie/Auxiliary that sponsor Drug
1989 Eagles launch a drive to make desecration of the American Flag a federal crime.
1990 Memorial foundation increases educational grant from $3,000 to $4,000.
1991 Eagles drive to support our military in Operation Desert Storm with mail
and food packages.
1992 Eagles Mildred and Claude Pepper Foundation Co-Sponsor Health Care
1993 Eagles launch fund to aid Florida victims from hurricane Andrew. Eagles launch flood relief to help people in the Midwest
victims. Memorial Foundation funds Scholarship
Program at Chapel of the Four Chaplains.
1994 The Eagles Donor Fund established.
1995 The Fraternal Order Eagles donate $50,000 for the Eagle Alcove of the Franklin
Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Tidal Basin, Washington,
D.C. . Roosevelt was a lifetime member of the F.O.E..
1996 Dedication on February 27, 1996 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Memorial Plaque
at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific,
Honolulu, Hawaii, in honor of those who lost
their lives in World War II.
1998 100th Anniversary
Convention takes place. $1,000,000 given to Charities at Grand Aerie Convention.
1999 Memorial Foundation establishes H.O.M.E. Fund and G.R.E.A.T. program. April 29th is designated as Judge Bob Hansen Day.
2001 Memorial Foundation establishes the "Attack on America Fund" to assist the
victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Memorial Foundation extends medical and educational benefits to the
families of all members who lose their life on the job.
Eagles purchase property to consolidate National Headquarters.
2002 F.O.E. International Headquarters opens in Grove City, Ohio.
2003 Eagles are a major sponsor in the development of the Military Tribute to
Bob Hope located in San Diego, California.
2004 May 1st is
designated as “Child Advocacy
Day”. "Where Eagles Fly" becomes our theme song.
Implemented God Flag and Country
program for American and Canadian youth.
2005 Eagles re-dedicated Ten Commandments monument
at international headquarters; F.O.E. generously supported development of a new
scoliosis brace named the "Eagle
Brace"; F.O.E. signed first year contract with Braun Racing for FOE.com-sponsored
2006 Eagles worked with local government leaders to keep "under God" in the
Pledge of Allegiance; F.O.E. signed second year contract with
Braun Racing and announced opening of
Race City Aerie in Mooresville, North Carolina.
2007 Eagles supported American Eagle & Literary Challenge in quest to name June
20 National Eagle Day.
2008 Eagles host Lobby Day and Capital Hill Champion of Children Recepton for
Eagles partner with The University of
Iowa to fund research at The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center.
2009 Eagles make first $5 million donation to The University of Iowa for The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center in Iowa City, Iowa.
2010 Eagles attend 75th Anniversary Celebration of the signing of the Social Security Act in New York City. The second $5 million donation to The
University of Iowa for The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center is made in Iowa City, Iowa.
History of the Fraternal
Order of Eagles Auxiliary
The 1951 Grand Aerie Convention was a
watershed event in the history of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. At that
international convention, held August 8-12 in Rochester, New York, an
amendment to the Grand Aerie Laws was unanimously passed establishing a
It was what Past Grand Worthy President Lester Loble, who was instrumental
in the institution of the Grand Auxiliary, called “a great moment in the
history of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.”
To be sure, Eagles Auxiliaries existed long before there was a Grand
Auxiliary. The first one, at Pittsburgh, Kansas, came into being on March
24, 1927, and just three days later the second Auxiliary was instituted at
By March, 1951, there were 965 local Auxiliaries boasting a combined total
of approximately 130,000 members.
“The progress made in the last 24 years,” said Mrs. Eagle magazine, which
had been launched in 1948, “is a solid foundation on which Eagle Auxiliaries
must continue to build.”
The building was done quickly and solidly. By late ‘51, there were 22 state
and provincial Auxiliaries in operation, and the time was ripe for an
international governing body for the distaff side of Eagledom.
At the 53rd Grand Aerie Convention in Rochester, matters got underway at a
Regional Membership Department Banquet at the Seneca Hotel. In his
greetings, printed in the banquet program, Grand Aerie Director M.L. Brown
set the stage for the historic occasion with these words:
“It is especially fitting that the F.O.E. Encourage the upbuilding of the
Ladies’ Auxiliaries of our Order. The growth of the Ladies’ Auxiliaries is
the astonishment of the fraternal world. We welcome the ladies and
congratulate you on your outstanding success and predict great things for
At that convention, state and provincial madam presidents attended an
all-day forum. Included were Kay Guy of Pennsylvania, Alta Browning of Ohio,
Carol Bennett of California, Mary Dunn of Toronto, Ontario; Phyllis Wright
of Washington, and Mrs. Eagle magazine editor Georgia Walker.
Following the forum, the abovenamed Sisters were escorted into the Grand
Aerie session and presented to the assembly. Lester Loble, who spearheaded
the drafting of the legislation establishing the Grand Auxiliary, introduced
Alta Browning. According to the lead story int he October, 1951 issue of
Mrs. Eagle, “...Pride shone on every woman’s face as she said, in part: ‘The
Ladies’ Auxiliaries of this Fraternity thank you, our Brothers, for
everything that you have done for us through the years. We thank you, who
are the representatives of the Grand Aerie, for making it possible for us to
realize, in the near future, one of our fondest dreams. We thank those
delegates way back in 1926 for recognizing our Ladies’ Auxiliaries. And then
we thank the delegates again a few years ago who made our State Auxiliaries
“We are very proud of the part that we have been able to play in this
Fraternity, and I am happy to pledge for our Ladies’ Auxiliaries our support
in all the programs of the future that you may care to advance.”
It was, wrote Auxiliarian Gertrude M. Puelicher, “truly a New Era for the
women of Eagledom.”
At the 1952 Grand Aerie Convention in Philadelphia, 1,100 Eagle Sisters from
virtually every American state and Canadian province watched with tremendous
awe and pride as Lester Loble was escorted to the platform in the Crystal
Ballroom of the Benjamin Franklin Hotel to officially institute the Grand
Auxiliary whose roots had been set down the year before.
“My friends,” said Loble, “here in the City of Brotherly Love, in the year
1952, you women of Eagledom are gathered upon an extraordinary occasion.
Today is as historic as February 6, 1898, when the Fraternal Order of Eagles
came into being. From that humble beginning, in a little more than half a
century, that meeting of six men in the Moran shipyards has become the
fastest-growing fraternal order in the world, a humanitarian and patriotic
organization that has no equal.
“Today, the counterpart of that organization is born: the Ladies’ Grand
Auxiliary of the F.O.E. May its future be as illustrious as the parent
organization from which it derives its being.”
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN AUXILIARY HISTORY
1926: Grand Worthy President Charles C. Guenther issues Official Circular
seeking action in regard to the organization of Ladies Auxiliaries in the
March 24, 1927: Pittsburgh, Kansas, is the site of the first Ladies
Auxiliary institution. Frontenac, Kansas, follows three days later.
March 29, 1927: Davenport, Iowa Auxiliary 235 is instituted. Still going
strong, Davenport is the longest-surviving Auxiliary.
April 25, 1948: The first State/Provincial Auxiliaries in Montana and Ohio
are instituted on the same day.
August 8-12: Delegates to the 53rd Grand Aerie Convention in Rochester, New
York, approve establishment of the Grand Auxiliary.
August 19, 1951: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt becomes the first woman to receive a
life membership in the Ladies’ Auxiliary in a special presentation at Hyde
Park, New York.
August, 1952: The Grand Auxiliary is officially instituted in Philadelphia.
Kay Guy of Irwin, Pennsylvania, is charter Grand Madam President.
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Last update 01/27/2013