Fraternal Order of Eagles

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Fraternal Order of Eagles
FOEAerieLogo.JPG
Founded February 6, 1898
Founder John Cort, John W. Considine, Tim J. Considine, Harry (H.L.) Leavitt, Mose Goldsmith, and Arthur Williams
Focus Social Issues
Location
Origins Seattle, Washington
Area served
International
Endowment 10,000,000.00
Slogan "People Helping People."
Website foe.com

Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) is an international fraternal organization that was founded on February 6, 1898, in Seattle, Washington by a group of six theater owners including John Cort (the first president), brothers John W. and Tim J. Considine, Harry (H.L.) Leavitt (who later joined the Loyal Order of Moose), Mose Goldsmith and Arthur Williams.[1] Originally made up of those engaged in one way or another in the performing arts, the Eagles grew and claimed credit for establishing the Mother's Day holiday in the United States as well as the "impetus for Social Security". Their lodges are known as "aeries".

History[edit]

Terracotta ornamentation of the former Eagles Aerie No. 1, Eagles Auditorium Building in Seattle.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.[2]

The Fraternal Order of Eagles was founded on February 6, 1898. The organization was formed by six theater owners sitting on a pile of lumber in Moran's shipyard in Seattle, Washington. They were competitors who had come together to discuss a musicians’ strike. After deciding how to handle the strike, they agreed to "bury the hatchet" and form an organization dubbed, "The Order of Good Things."

Early meetings were held on local theater stages, and after taking care of business, attendees rolled out a keg of beer and enjoyed social time. As numbers grew, participants selected the Bald Eagle as the official emblem and changed the name to "The Fraternal Order of Eagles." In April, 1898, the membership formed a Grand Aerie, secured a charter and developed a constitution and by-laws, with John Cort elected the Eagles' first president. Touring theater troupes are credited with much of the Eagles' rapid growth. Most early members were actors, stagehands and playwrights, who as carried the Eagles story as they toured across the United States and Canada.

The organization's success is also attributed to its funeral benefits (no Eagle was ever buried in a Potter's field), the provision of an aerie physician, and other membership benefits.[3] The Eagles pushed for the founding of Mother's Day, provided the impetus for Social Security, and pushed to end job discrimination based on age. The Eagles have provided support for medical centers across the United States and Canada to build and provide research on medical conditions. Every year they raise millions of dollars to combat heart disease and cancer, help children with disabilities, and uplift the aged and infirm.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles is known for short as the F.O.E.

History of the Aerie

An aerie in nature is the lofty nest of any bird of prey, including eagles and hawks.[4] In the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the term Aerie is the name of the building in which the members meet and hold events.

History of the Auxiliary

Official logo of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary

A "new era for the women of Eagledom" began when an amendment to the Grand Aerie Laws to establish a Grand Auxiliary passed unanimously at the 1951 Grand Aerie Convention in Rochester, New York.[5] Eagle Auxiliaries had existed before the Grand Auxiliary was formed, the first being founded on March 24, 1927 in Pittsburg, Kansas. Three days later,a second Auxiliary was established in Frontenac, Kansas. By March 1951, 965 local Auxiliaries were in existence, totalling 130,000 members. By the end of that year, 22 state and provincial Auxiliaries were also operating.[6]

Timeline[edit]

  • 1898 — "Order of Good Things" established. Later that year, the organization changed its name to Fraternal Order of Eagles and formed the first Aerie.
  • 1904 — F.O.E. starts advocating for Mother's Day
  • 1927 — Creation and formation of the Ladies Auxiliary
  • 1935 — Support for enactment of Social Security Law
  • 1944 — Eagles Memorial Fund established
  • 1954 — Nearly 10,000 Ten Commandments plaques distributed
  • 1955 — F.O.E. Ten Commandments monument placed in Ambridge, PA. F.O.E. Ten Commandments monument placed on the grounds of a state capital, Denver, CO
  • 1957 — Nationwide "Jobs After 40" program inaugurated
  • 1967 — Jimmy Durante Children's Foundation established
  • 1972 — Golden Eagle Fund established
  • 1983 — Max Baer Heart Fund offered first grants for Aerie-sponsored CPR classes $405,000 donated to Eagles' Truman Cardiovascular Lab at Research Medical Center, Kansas City Golden Eagle Fund donated $5,000 in grants to institutions conducting Alzheimer's disease research
  • 1985 — Donations to St. Jude Hospital top $1 million
  • 1988 — Eagles matched grants up to $500 to sponsor Drug Education Seminars
  • 1991 — Eagles supported Operation Desert Storm with mail and food packages
  • 1995 — $50,000 donated for the Eagle Alcove of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Roosevelt was a lifetime F.O.E. member)
  • 2001 — Memorial Foundation established Attack on America Fund and raised $500,000 F.O.E. purchased property to consolidate international headquarters
  • 2002 — International headquarters opened in Grove City, Ohio
  • 2005 — Eagles rededicated 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 car
  • 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
  • 2007 — Eagles supported American Eagle & Literary Challenge in quest to name June 20 National Eagle Day, The Disaster Relief Fund was passed which will allow the Eagles to have "trailers" stocked with supplies to be a first response team.
  • 2008 — $25 million gift commitment to fund The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at The University of Iowa.

Structure and Organization[edit]

Elected Officers
Grand Aerie Grand Auxiliary
Grand Worthy President Grand Madam President
Grand Worthy President-Elect Grand Madam President-Elect
Grand Worthy Vice-President Grand Madam Vice-President
Grand Secretary Grand Madam Secretary
Grand Treasurer Grand Madam Treasurer
Grand Worthy Conductor Grand Madam Conductor
Grand Inside Guard Grand Madam Inside Guard
Grand Outside Guard Grand Madam Outside Guard
Grand Worthy Chaplain Grand Madam Chaplain
Grand Worthy Trustee (x4) Grand Madam Trustee (x4)

Local units are called "Aeries".[7] There were 1,400 Aeries scattered across the US and Canada in 2001.[8] The national convention is known as the "Grand Aerie" and meets annually.[9] "Grand Aerie" is also the name of the headquarters of the organization, currently at Grove City, Ohio.[10]

Aeries are known by their instituting number and the name of the city in which they are located. The Aerie instituting number is appointed based on the order in which an Aerie is instituted; at current date the Grand Aerie is instituting Aeries in the 4500 range. Naturally, Aerie #1 is located in Seattle, WA.[11]

The Grand Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles International Convention is held each year in a different city in either the United States or Canada. During the International Convention, delegates from all Aeries and Auxiliaries vote on the new Grand Aerie and Grand Auxiliary representatives, new by-laws and other relevant issues.[12]

Officers[edit]

Officers of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, on a local and international level, are elected each year by popular vote of their delegates. State and regional leaders are appointed each year by the Grand Worthy and Grand Madam Presidents.

The organization is led by the two highest elected positions, the Grand Worthy President and the Grand Madam President. The Grand Worthy and Grand Madam Presidents serve a one-year term touring the two countries meeting and celebrating milestone events with all Aerie and Auxiliary members.

The Grand Aerie Officers are the operating body of the Fraternal Order of Eagles between conventions and work with the Board of Grand Trustees and the Grand Auxiliary. The Board of Grand Trustees, with the exception of the Chairman of the Board, is also an elected body. The Chairman of the Board is the immediate past Grand Worthy President.

Membership[edit]

At one point the qualifications for membership were that one must be 21 years old, possess a good character, not be a Communist and be a Caucasian. By the late 1970s the all white provision had officially been rescinded, but, because the Order used the blackball to admit new members, it was difficult for minorities to gain membership. In 1979 the FOE tried to get a lawsuit dismissed that alleged it was violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by not allowing African Americans to use their athletic facilities. The article stated that a local Eagle official could only cite Joe Louis as a black member of the FOE.[13]

As of 2007 membership is open to any person of good moral character, and believes in the existence of a supreme being.[14]

In 1979 the Order had 800,000 members, a figure said to have been relatively constant over a decade.[15] In 2011, it had 850,000 member in the main organization and 250,000 members of the women's auxiliary.[16]

Ritual[edit]

The FOE no longer uses secret passwords or "roughhouse initiation" rite. But, in 1979, it still had a ritual. The prospective member was asked to promise before God and on his honor, not to disclose the rituals of the Order to anyone outside of the FOE. The initiation took place in lodge room furnished with an altar and a Bible and included religious phrases and prayers.[17]

Benefits[edit]

The FOE had an insurance program in its early years, but discontinued this in 1927. Instead it offered sick and death benefits for members who would pay higher fees. Therefore the FOE now has two membership categories, beneficial and non-beneficial.[18]

Charitable Giving[edit]

People helping people is a statement that guides the charitable actions of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and has led the Eagles to donate more than $100 million annually.[19] As part of the charitable philosophy, the Eagles give back 100 percent of the contributions received in the form of grants. All administrative costs are paid by the International Organization through membership dues.[20]

Programs for youth[edit]

In 1941 the FOE donated funds for the construction of a dormitory at Boys Town, Nebraska. Father Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town was member of the order. A few years later the Order sponsored the creation of Eagle Hall at the Range for Boys at Sentinel Butte, North Dakota. The High Girl Ranch, near Midland, Texas has also received a dormitory.[13]

Fraternal Order of Eagles Charity Foundation[edit]

The Charity Foundation was organized to combine the many health care related funds, children’s charity funds and general undesignated donations.

Circle of Life[edit]

The Circle of Life program was added in 2005 to answer the need of many members who fully believe in the Eagles, but may not have the opportunity to participate in the many activities held to raise funds for charity. Each member is eligible to be a Circle of Life patron by contributing a donation directly to the Charity Foundation. The member will then receive a sticker to attach to their dues receipt designating the member as a Circle of Life patron.

Max Baer Heart Fund[edit]

Max Baer was a former heavyweight boxing champion and an active member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. When Baer died of a heart attack in 1959, the Eagles created a charity fund as a tribute to his memory and as a means of combating the disease that killed him.

The Max Baer Heart Fund’s primary purpose is to aid in heart research and education. Since the fund started in 1959, millions of dollars have been donated to universities, medical centers and hospitals across the United States and Canada for heart research and education.

Robert W. Hansen Diabetes Fund[edit]

The Robert W. Hansen Diabetes fund, named for the former two-time Grand Worthy President, was incorporated into the Max Baer Heart Fund in 1978 when research confirmed that diabetes is associated with heart problems. The goal of this fund is to find a cure for this disease.

Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund[edit]

Art Ehrmann served as the first director of the Eagle's Cancer Fund, founded in November 1959, and as editor of Eagle Publications for 25 years. Art died of cancer and in his memory the Eagle’s Cancer Fund was renamed the Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund.

Since the fund began in 1959, $50 million has been granted to various institutions for research and related projects. In addition to research, early cancer detection and education are areas that the charitable Eagle dollars have a direct impact.

D.D. Dunlap Kidney Fund[edit]

The D.D. Dunlap Kidney Fund was established at the 1978 Fraternal Order of Eagles International Convention in Spokane, Washington. Its purpose is to raise funds for grants to universities, hospitals and other institutions involved in kidney research and related projects. All money raised goes directly for research.

Jimmy Durante Children's Fund[edit]

The fund was named in honor of Jimmy Durante, an active life-member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Jimmy entertained without charge at fourteen consecutive Grand Aerie International Conventions and at many other Eagle gatherings until his death in 1980. Because of Jimmy's gentle and kind manner, the children's fund was named after him in 1966.

All money raised for the Jimmy Durante Children's Fund or Child Abuse Prevention Fund is returned to that state or province in the form of grants to children-helping organizations of the state's choosing.

Children's AIDS Awareness and Medical Research[edit]

The Fraternal Order of Eagles is pursuing a mission to increase the amount of available information for at risk families and educate young people as to the dangers of the AIDS virus. Donations are also set aside for medical research.

Lew Reed Spinal Cord Injury Fund[edit]

The Lew Reed Spinal Cord Injury Fund is dedicated to improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with the results of spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) and their families.

This fund has partnered with the National Spinal Cord Injury Association to provide funds for research, and to develop and evaluate new ways of assisting middle-aged and older persons living with the long-term effects of SCI/D.

The Maynard "Blackie" Floyd Golden Eagle, Alzheimer and Parkinson Funds[edit]

In the early 1970s the Eagles took to heart the statistics of the fast-growing ranks of the elderly, thus the National Golden Eagle Fund was founded. Since that time, donations to the National Golden Eagle Fund have provided $1,000 grants to charitable organizations for community-oriented programs primarily serving the aged.

The Eagles’ history of raising funds for Alzheimer’s-related research and care began in 1985 when the Board of Grand Trustees approved the use of Golden Eagle funds to help find a cure for the disease. Committed to caring for our senior citizens, the organization recognized the need to support research for what was then, and still is, an ever-growing epidemic. Due to the increased demand from membership for grants supporting Alzheimer’s research over the years, a separate fund was created in the name of Maynard “Blackie” Floyd, a Past Grand Worthy President of the F.O.E., who served many years as an International Charity Director. Much like the Alzheimer’s Fund, involvement with Parkinson’s began through Golden Eagle and grew to become its own fund, dedicated to the research and prevention of Parkinson’s Disease. The two funds often work in tandem as members dedicate their fundraising efforts to the prevention of both diseases. During the 2011-2012 fraternal year, members of the F.O.E. contributed $248,552.98 to the Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Funds. Founded in 1898, The Fraternal Order of Eagles has a dedicated history of working hard to make our communities better, safer places for all. Our Charity Foundation funds research for diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, cancer, and aid for neglected and abused children and the aged.

Golden Age Grants[edit]

Aeries and Auxiliaries can request Golden Age Grants for those organizations benefiting the community's aged. By 2006, more than 2,097 grants have been made. (Does not include larger grants made at Grand Aerie International Conventions.) The National Golden Eagle Fund is approaching $4 million in donations received.

Disaster Relief Fund[edit]

The Disaster Relief Fund was developed to fund a first response program for national disaster situations in Canada and the United States. The Disaster Relief Fund was recognized at the November 2007 Board of Grand Trustees meeting as an official charity of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. This fund is the first in nearly 30 years to be recognized as a new F.O.E. public charity.

Memorial Foundation[edit]

The Memorial Foundation was founded in 1946, and regularly supports medical research projects.[21]

It also supports children of members who die while serving their country or at work. All Eagle members and their families are automatically protected by this member benefit.[citation needed] With the Memorial Foundation, children of deceased members who die while serving their country or at work are able to attend college or vocational school with grants up to $30,000. They can also receive medical assistance including payments to physicians, dentists, orthodontists, and hospitals. The cost of eyeglasses, prescriptions, as well as medical and dental devices is also included.[citation needed]

Conservation efforts[edit]

In the 1970s the FOE joined enviromentalists in efforts to save the bald eagle from extinction. They also lent their efforts to help the golden eagle as well.[21]

Eagle Village[edit]

In 1959 the FOE began construction on a retirement home for elderly members in Bradenton, Florida. Today this home is part of Eagle Village, where there are other facilities available to the elderly.[21]

Eagle Village, is open to any member who has at least 10 years of continuous membership in the Fraternal Order of Eagles, with priority given to applicants with the most years of service and those who have made outstanding contributions to their local organizations.[citation needed]

Eagle Village is a 26-acre (110,000 m2) complex, with 85 units and featuring a 3-acre (12,000 m2) lake, library, recreation center, exercise room, shuffleboard and pool.[citation needed]

Grand Worthy President and Grand Madam President Special Charities[edit]

Each year the elected Grand Worthy President and Grand Madam President each choose a special project to receive fundraised dollars. Members host fundraisers throughout the year and present checks to either the Grand Worthy or Grand Madam President for their charity.

Government Relations[edit]

Since the time of the New Deal the FOE has promoted social legislation, particularly old age and mothers pensions, Social Security and workmens compensation. By 1980 it was advocating for seniors to work after age 65 and to return the Social Security system back to its original purpose.[21]

Historical[edit]

Four Pens[edit]

Through the years, the Fraternal Order of Eagles has encouraged programs and legislation that benefit many Americans — especially the young and old. The "Four Pens" are the actual instruments three United States presidents and a governor used to sign the documents that made these programs a reality. Each of these pens, which are displayed at the F.O.E. International Headquarters in Grove City, Ohio, was presented to the F.O.E. by the legislator who signed the bill or measure.

Old Age Pensions "You Eagles have planted this seed… If the Eagles of the United States never do anything else, they have more than justified their existence in their advocacy of this great humanitarian movement." - Gov. Joseph M. Dixon, Governor of Montana, signing into law America's first old age pension law (1923).

Social Security "The pen I am presenting the Order is a symbol of my approval of the Fraternity's vision and courage. May its possession inspire your members to dedicate their efforts and those of the Fraternity… To bring a greater degree of happiness to our people." - President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on the occasion of the signing of the Social Security Act (1935).

Jobs After 40 "The Eagles started this whole idea. That is why I invited the Eagles to be at this private bill signing, and the reason I am presenting this pen to the Fraternal Order of Eagles." - President Lyndon B. Johnson, signing the federal "Jobs After 40" bill, outlawing upper age limits in hiring.

Medicare "For your energetic and dedicated espousal of social justices, and for the generous support you have given to all measures designed to further economic opportunity and the compassionate treatment of the sick and disabled." - President Lyndon B. Johnson, in a message to the Eagles on the signing of the Medicare amendment to the Social Security Act.

Mother’s Day[edit]

Frank E. Hering as team captain/coach of Notre Dame football in 1896

Frank E. Hering, a Past Grand Worthy President of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in South Bend, Indiana, campaigned for "a national day to honor our mothers," nearly 35 years after social activist Ann Jarvis first proposed a similar U.S. holiday. The idea of advocating for Mother's Day came to Hering when he was a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame. Walking into the classroom of a fellow instructor, Hering found his colleague distributing penny postcards to students. Each student addressed his or her card and scribbled a message on it. Hering was informed the students could write anything, as long as it was addressed to the students’ mothers.

Hering leveraged his connection with the Fraternal Organization of Eagles to organize its members in promoting the holiday, and in 1914, legislation in the U.S. Congress requested a presidential proclamation to designate the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. This date was encouraged by Anna Marie Jarvis, daughter of Ann Jarvis who continued her mother's work in crusading for a U.S. memorial day for mothers. President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation and May 10, 1914 became the first official Mother's Day.[22]

In 1925, the "Society of War Mothers" invited Hering to participate in a special Mother's Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.[23] There, at the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," before a large audience including many congressmen and senators, Hering was introduced as "the Father of Mother's Day." That was 11 years after President Woodrow Wilson by Proclamation officially made Mother's Day the second Sunday in May.[24]

Today the Eagles’ work to acknowledge mothers on Mother’s Day is recognized by the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum – a museum honoring the daughter of Ann Jarvis. Grand Madam President Margaret Cox (2007–2008), was named “2008 Mother of the Year” by the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum in partnership with the International Mother's Day Shrine in Grafton, WV. Cox was honored at the 100th anniversary of the holiday during the Mother’s Day Founder’s Festival, May 10 and 11, 2008.

Social Security[edit]

The following letter was written October 25, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to past Fraternal Order of Eagles Grand Worthy President John M. Morin.

“I am very glad to give you as the representative of the Fraternal Order of Eagles a pen with which I signed the Social Security Securities Act. The measure will directly benefit 30,000,000 of our citizens by its provisions, among which are those for unemployment insurance and for Old Age Pensions. Its broad purpose is to “give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”

I have long observed with satisfaction the sponsorship by the F.O.E. of social justice legislation both in the states and in the nation. The records for more than a quarter of a century bear witness to the campaigns of education conducted, the literature distributed, and the addresses delivered by your socially-minded Order. These efforts have borne, and are bearing gratifying results. Our countrymen owe the Eagles good will for their unselfish services.

The pen I am presenting to the Order is a symbol of my approval of the Fraternity's vision and courage. May its possession inspire your 600,000 members to re-dedicate their own efforts and those of the Fraternity to the insuring of such economic and political conditions as will bring a greater degree of happiness to our people.”

Current Government Relations Initiatives and Statements of Principle[edit]

In 2008 the Fraternal Order of Eagles hired a lobbyist to begin assisting with government relations efforts in Washington D.C.

CARES Act [25]
Children’s Access to Reconstructive Evaluation and Surgeries (CARES) Act S. 1588 and H.R. 1655

"Children with birth Defects should not be denied life-altering surgery..."—Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sponsor of the CARES Act

"It is a tragedy that life insurance companies continue to deny treatment to over 50 percent of children who suffer from birth defects."—Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN), Co-Sponsor of the CARES Act

Every year in the United States about 120,000 babies are born suffering from birth defects. About 40,000 children require reconstructive surgery for their conditions, including cleft palate, cleft lip, malformations of the ear, hand, or foot, or for more profound craniofacial deformities.

The American Medical Association asserts that “the treatment of a minor child’s congenital or developmental deformity . . . should be covered by all insurers” and that the treatment should seek to “return the patient to a more normal appearance.”

However, evidence suggests that insurance companies are increasingly denying access to reconstructive surgery to children with birth defects.

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives that would require all group and individual health insurance coverage and all group health plans to provide coverage for surgery and other outpatient and inpatient medical treatments related to a minor child’s congenital or developmental deformity.

In the Senate, this legislation, the Children’s Access to Reconstructive Evaluation and Surgeries (CARES) Act (S. 1588), was introduced by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) and currently has 11 cosponsors. In the House, similar legislation, H.R. 1655, was introduced by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH) and has 55 cosponsors.

Social Security Statement of Principle
Ensuring the long-term stability of the Social Security system while protecting the fundamental principles on which it was founded

Whereas, the Fraternal Order of Eagles is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization with nearly one million individual members in more than 1,500 local Aeries across the United States; Whereas, The Fraternal Order of Eagles served as a driving force in establishing the Social Security system in the 1930s; Whereas, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote a letter to the Eagles dated October 25, 1935 in which he said:

President Roosevelt signs Social Security Act, at approximately 3:30 pm EST on 14 August 1935.[26] Standing with Roosevelt are Rep. Robert Doughton (D-NC); unknown person in shadow; Sen. Robert Wagner (D-NY); Rep. John Dingell (D-MI); unknown man in bowtie; the Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins; Sen. Pat Harrison (D-MS); and Rep. David Lewis (D-MD).

"I am very glad to give you as the representative of the Fraternal Order of Eagles a pen with which I signed the Social Security Securities Act. . . . I have long observed with satisfaction the sponsorship by the F.O.E. [Fraternal Order of Eagles] of social justice legislation both in the states and in the nation. The records for more than a quarter of a century bear witness to the campaigns of education conducted, the literature distributed, and the addresses delivered by your socially-minded Order. These efforts have borne, and are bearing gratifying results. Our countrymen owe the Eagles good will for their unselfish services.

Whereas, the Eagles motto is “People Helping People,” and many of the Eagles’ charitable activities at the local and national level involve providing financial assistance to the elderly, disabled, and children; Whereas, Social Security lifts about 13 million elderly beneficiaries out of poverty—about one-third of America’s elderly rely on Social Security for ninety percent of more of their income and two-thirds of elderly Americans rely on Social Security for more than half of their income;[27] Whereas, without Social Security, 55 percent of all disabled Americans and an additional one-million children would live in poverty;[27] Whereas, Social Security was founded on a set of core principles that have resulted in its long-term stability and success that include:[28]

  • Near universal participation
  • Benefits are an earned right
  • Benefits are related to earnings
  • The system is contributory and self-financed
  • The system is redistributive
  • The system is not means tested
  • The system is wage indexed
  • The system is inflation protected, and
  • The system is compulsory;
Whereas, Social Security has successfully reduced poverty among the elderly, children, and the disabled and has provided hundreds of millions of Americans a solid base on which to build a financially stable retirement."

Therefore, it is resolved that the Fraternal Order of Eagles: Believe that the Social Security system is essential to the happiness, health, and financial independence of millions of families and individuals across the United States and must be preserved consistent with the fundamental principles under which it was established; Encourage the President, leaders in the United States Congress, and others to take action to ensure the long-term financial stability of the Social Security system consistent with the fundamental principles under which it was established; Support enactment of laws and policies that will ensure the long-term financial stability of the Social Security system while preserving the fundamental principles on which the Social Security system was established and has flourished; and Will actively advocate for laws and policies that ensure the long-term stability of the Social Security system while protecting the fundamental principles on which it is founded.

Health Insurance for Children Statement of Principle
Ensure that every American child has access to quality health insurance coverage

Whereas, the Fraternal Order of Eagles is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization with nearly one-million individual members in more than 1,500 local Aeries across the United States; Whereas, the Eagles motto is “People Helping People,” and many of the Eagles’ charitable activities at the local and national level involve both assistance to children and health-related activities; Whereas, since 1944 the Eagles have operated the Eagles Memorial Foundation which provides health benefits to children of Eagle members who die while serving their country or at work, including payments to physicians, dentists, orthodontists, and hospitals and the cost of eyeglasses, prescriptions, and medical and dental devices; Whereas, in 2005, 8.3 million American children under the age of 18 – about 11.3% of all American children – lacked health insurance coverage;[29] Whereas, children without health insurance are less likely to be up to date on immunizations, to receive treatment for sore throat, ear ache, and other common childhood illnesses, or to have a regular doctor;[30] Whereas, children with health coverage tend to have fewer school absences;[30] Whereas, universal access to health insurance coverage is fundamental to ensuring that all children receive basic health services and lead full and healthy lives.

Therefore, it is resolved that the Fraternal Order of Eagles: Believe that every American child should have access to quality health insurance coverage; Encourage the President, leaders in the United States Congress, and others to take action to ensure that all American children have access to quality health insurance coverage; Support enactment of laws and policies that will expand access to health insurance for American children with an emphasis on initiatives that would make quality health insurance coverage accessible to all American children; and Will actively advocate for laws and policies that make available quality health insurance coverage to all American children.

Controversy[edit]

In the 1940s, E.J. Ruegemer, a Minnesota juvenile court judge and member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, launched a nationwide campaign to post copies of the Ten Commandments in juvenile courts across the country. His goal - to provide a moral foundation for troubled youth.

In 1956, director Cecil B. DeMille's epic film "The Ten Commandments" opens across the country. DeMille and Ruegemer drum up publicity for the film by working together to erect granite monuments of the Ten Commandments across the nation.

Although there is no official record of how many monuments were erected, numbers range from less than 100 to more than 2,000. The Fraternal Order of Eagles kept the project going long after the film opened, and some monuments didn't get erected until up to 10 years later. Many monuments went up in public places like parks, city halls, and courthouses. [31] On August 30, 1961, the Fraternal Order of Eagles of Texas presented the State of Texas with a 6-foot-high monolith inscribed with the Ten Commandments, which in 2006 became the subject of a divisive and controversial legal issue (Van Orden v. Perry) that reached the U.S. Supreme Court .[32] The case was ruled 5-4 in favour of the defendant, the State of Texas, and the monument was allowed to remain on the grounds of the State Capitol.

Community Involvement[edit]

With a motto of "people helping people," Eagle members are actively involved in their local communities. Many activities focus on children and improving their quality of life. Eagles Aeries and Auxiliaries conduct toy drives, send young victims of domestic violence to camp, hold baby showers for needy families, provide Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets, provide backpacks and school supplies, make quilts for nursing homes, and more.

Social Groups[edit]

Eagle social activities are almost endless and range from bowling, golfing and playing horseshoes to holding cookouts, riding in parades and attending NASCAR races. Many social opportunities are also offered at regional and national conventions.

Eagle Riders[edit]

Official Eagle Riders Logo

Eagle Riders is a group of Fraternal Order of Eagles member motorcyclists who promote the Eagles and its causes, while doing something that they love - riding motorcycles. The mission of the Eagle Riders is to have fun in a family oriented organization dedicated to the enjoyment of motorcycles, safe riding, while promoting the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

REAC – Retired Eagle Activities Club[edit]

R.E.A.C. clubs are developed to provide an opportunity for retired members aged 55 and over, to cultivate friendships, enjoy leisure time, social and cultural activities. This internal unit is the backbone of many Eagle Aeries; holding fundraisers, and providing a much needed social setting for seniors.

Under 35 Club[edit]

The Under 35 Club was developed to support the interests of younger people and aid in their joining the Eagles. Members of the Under 35 Club range in ages from 21 to 35 and are members in good standing in their local Aerie and/or Auxiliary. Club members determine the activities which interest them; such as camping, cookouts, sports, etc. while promoting the ideals of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

JOE – Junior Order of Eagles[edit]

Junior Order of Eagles (J.O.E.) clubs represent the future of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. J.O.E. clubs are often self-supporting and guided by advisors from the local Aerie and Auxiliary. J.O.E. clubs are open to young people between the ages of 11 and 18 and any young person can join. Members do not have to be the son or daughter of an Aerie or Auxiliary member. Every J.O.E. club has its own officers and follows a ritual during each meeting. J.O.E. clubs plan their own activities, which range from dances and bowling to skating parties, hay rides, stunt nights, sports competitions, campfires and campouts. J.O.E. Clubs conduct their own fundraisers and perform many types of community service, including beautification projects, providing assistance to the elderly, spending time with disabled children and aiding the needy.

Notable Eagles buildings[edit]

Notable Eagles[edit]

United States Presidents Seven United States Presidents held membership in the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

Notable Aerie Members

Politicians[edit]

Religion[edit]

Entertainers[edit]

Athletes[edit]

Notable Auxiliary Members

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Murray Morgan, Skid Road, Ballantine Books (1960). p. 144–146 cites for Cort, John Considine, Leavitt, and Leavitt's departure.
  2. ^ Fraternal Order of Eagles Mission Statement
  3. ^ Fraternal Order of Eagles Ritual and Constitution, predate 1954
  4. ^ Webster’s Dictionary, 2007 edition
  5. ^ Proceedings from the Grand Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles Convention, 1951
  6. ^ October 1951 issue of Mrs. Eagle publication
  7. ^ Schmidt, Alvin J. Fraternal Organizations Westport, CT; Greenwood Press pp.25-6
  8. ^ http://www.foe.com/about-us/facts.aspx
  9. ^ p.96
  10. ^ Contacts
  11. ^ Data pulled from monthly new Aerie/Auxiliary report
  12. ^ Proceedings from the Grand Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles Convention
  13. ^ a b Schmidt pp.95-6
  14. ^ Title 111, Section 70.2 Articles of Incorporation Constitution and Statutes 2007
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Schmidt p.96
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Fraternal Order of Eagles Facts
  17. ^ Schmidt pp.96
  18. ^ Schmidt pp.95
  19. ^ All financial and dated data pulled from Proceedings of the Grand Aerie Convention, 1959–2007 and Grand Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles Annual Financial Audit
  20. ^ Grand Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles Annual Financial Audit
  21. ^ a b c d Schmidt p.95
  22. ^ Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum
  23. ^ February 1925 issue of The American War Mother
  24. ^ From the Memoires of Frank E. Hering
  25. ^ Senate Bill 1588 and House Bill 1655
  26. ^ http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html
  27. ^ a b Top 10 Facts on Social Security’s 70th Anniversary by Jason Furman. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  28. ^ Please see [reference with credit to Robert Ball, former Administrator of SSA] for a description of the fundamental principles on which the Social Security system was founded
  29. ^ Center of Budget and Policy Priorities
  30. ^ a b Washington Post, September 6, 2006, P. A06. Citing research by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American College of Physicians, and University of Texas
  31. ^ http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200109/10_schmitzr_laxten-m/
  32. ^ http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1500.ZS.html

References[edit]

External links[edit]