Chapter 1: The Beginning
[Working Draft, Oct. 31, 2011]
History of the Eagles
Six theater owners in 1898 decided to bury the hatchet and settle a musicians strike in Seattle, Washington. The six men – John Cort, brothers John W. and Tim J. Considine, Harry (H.L.) Leavitt, Mose Goldsmith and Arthur Williams – went on to form an organization they dub The Order of Good Things. And thus began the organization that whose deeds would lead to the SUPREME SCANDAL.
Within a couple of months, the membership formed a Grand Aerie, selected the Bald Eagle as the official emblem and changed the name to the Fraternal Order of Eagles. John Cort was elected the Eagles' first president.
Early meetings were held on local theater stages. After taking care of business, the adult fraternyity would roll out a keg of beer and enjoy social time. Touring theater troupes are credited with much of the Eagles' rapid growth as most early members were actors, stagehands and playwrights who as they toured, carried the Eagles story 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 many other benefits. 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 country to build and provide research for medical conditions. They raise millions of dollars every year to combat heart disease and cancer, help handicapped kids, and uplift the aged and others.] 
The Fraternal Order of Eagles describes itself as an international non-profit organization that 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. It is particularly interesting to note that this mission statement does not include a religious purpose yet the Eagles have expended significant amounts of time and money promoting religion as I discuss more fully in Chapter 3 -- indeed, this entire book.
F.O.E. membership has declined over the years from a high of over one million members to about 800,000 today. There are more than 1,400 local Aeries in the U.S. and Canada. Womens auxiliaries total more than 1,300, with more than 250,000 members. with more than 1,700 local aeries (male groups) in the U.S. and Canada. Women's auxiliaries total more than 1,500, with more than 335,000 members. Members are recruited by other members and must be sponsored by two members before the membership process begins.
The aeries are an adult fraternity. The Harrisonburg, Virginia aerie (#1450) described itself as a Social Club.
The Eagles motto is People helphing people and this is demonstrated by their members helping one another and their philantropic program of funding medical research in areas such as spinal cord injuries, kidney disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's.
Eagles Major Accomplishments
The Eagles count the following as their major accomplishments: 
- Founded Mother's Day
- Served as driving force in founding Social Security Program
- Helped end job discrimination based on age with the "Jobs After 40" Program
- Distributed Ten Commandments monoliths and fought to keep the Commandments in public places
For a more complete list of accomplishments, see Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie and Auxiliary Milestones.
The Eagles claim former U.S. presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan among their members. 
The Grand Aerie of the Fraternal Order of Egales controls the following organizations:
- Fraternal Order of Eagles Foundation - Research, care, prevention & awareness of diseases, and children & elderly."
- Ladies Grand Auxiliary of the F.O.E.
- Eagles Memorial Foundation - Support disadvantaged children and certain families of deceased members.
- Eagle Village Inc. - Provide low cost housing for retired members and surviving spouses of FOE.
Others: Alzheimers, Cancer Fund, Child Abuse Fund, Diabetes/Diabetes Research Center, EVMS, Food Bank, Golden Eagle Fund, Heart Fund, Jimmy Durantee Children Fund, Kidney Fund, St. Judes Children Hospital [see Va Beach 990].
Are the Eagles a religious organization?
The answer to this question will have to wait to Chapter 3. For now, suffice it to say that the F.O.E. is a social organization.
- 1 [Need source]
- 2 Fraternal Order of Eagles are also known as the F.O.E. or Eagles. Its website is available at http://www.foe.com/.
- 3 [Need source]
- 4 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraternal_Order_of_Eagles.
- 5 F.O.E. mission statement available at http://www.foe.com/about-us/mission.aspx.
- 6 See F.O.E. Facts available at http://www.foe.com/about-us/facts.aspx".
- 7 Ibid..
- 8 See http://www.foe.com/about-us/facts.aspx.
- 10 See http://www.foe.com/about-us/facts.aspx.
- 11 See http://www.foe.com/about-us/facts.aspx.
- 13 here.