United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
William Henry Harrison (Wyoming politician)
William Henry Harrison was an American politician who served as a U. S. Representative from Wyoming on three occasions. A member of the Republican Party, Harrison was his party's nominee in a special election and a general election for the U. S. Senate, both held on November 2, 1954. Harrison was a grandson of the 23rd U. S. President, Benjamin Harrison, a great-great-grandson of the 9th U. S. President, William Henry Harrison; as of 2018, he is the last of his famous family to hold elective office. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on August 10, 1896, Harrison was raised in Indiana, Washington, D. C. and Nebraska. During World War I, he served in the United States Army as a Private in the Air Corps, he attended the University of Nebraska in 1919 and 1920, studied law, was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1925, practiced in Indianapolis until 1936. He served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1927 to 1929. In 1937, Harrison moved to Wyoming. From 1945 to 1950 he served in the Wyoming House of Representatives from Sheridan County.
He served as the Secretary to the Wyoming Interim Committee from 1947 to 1950. Harrison was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1950. Re-elected in 1952, he served from 1951 to 1955, he was not a candidate for renomination in 1954, but ran as the Republican candidate for the U. S. Senate seat vacated by the retirement of Sen. Edward D. Crippa from Wyoming. Crippa had been appointed in June 1954 following the suicide of Sen. Lester C. Hunt; as such, there was a simultaneous special election to fill the remaining months of Hunt's term. Harrison lost both the special election and the general election by three points to former Sen. Joseph C. O'Mahoney. After his loss, Harrison served as the regional administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency from 1955 to 1956 and as liaison officer for the agency from 1957 to 1958, he was returned to Congress in 1960 and re-elected in 1962, he served from 1961 to 1965. He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1964, finding himself amongst dozens of Republican members of Congress swept out of office in the landslide brought about by the 1964 presidential election, in which President Lyndon B. Johnson was elected to a full term over Sen. Barry Goldwater from Arizona by over twenty-two points.
Harrison ran again in 1966 and was elected to the Ninetieth U. S. Congress, serving from 1967 to 1969, he was denied re-nomination in 1968, losing the Republican primary that year to John S. Wold by two points. Harrison is, thus far, the only incumbent U. S. representative to lose re-nomination in Wyoming. Harrison was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the Federal Renegotiation Board on July 23, 1969, served until 1971. In retirement, Harrison lived in North Redington Beach, until his death in St. Petersburg in 1990, he was buried at Sheridan Municipal Cemetery in Wyoming. Many of Harrison's family members were politicians: His paternal great-great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Harrison V, signed the United States Declaration of Independence, served as the fifth Governor of Virginia from 1781 to 1784 His paternal great-great-grandfather, William Henry Harrison, served as the 9th U. S. President in 1841, having earlier served as a U. S. Senator from Ohio from 1825 to 1828, as a U. S. Representative from Ohio from 1816 to 1819, as the inaugural governor of the Indiana Territory from 1801 to 1812 His paternal great-grandfather, John Scott Harrison, served as a U.
S. Representative from Ohio from 1853 to 1857 His paternal grandfather, Benjamin Harrison, served as the 23rd U. S. President from 1889 to 1893, having earlier served as a U. S. Senator from Indiana from 1881 to 1887 His maternal grandfather, Alvin Saunders, served as a U. S. Senator from Nebraska from 1877 to 1883, as the tenth and last governor of the Nebraska Territory from 1861 to 1867, as a member of the Iowa Senate from 1854 to 1856 and from 1858 to 1860 His father, Russell Benjamin Harrison served as a member of the Indiana Senate from 1925 to 1933 and as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1921 to 1925 United States Congress. "William Henry Harrison". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. William Henry Harrison at Find a Grave This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov
University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming is a land-grant university located in Laramie, situated on Wyoming's high Laramie Plains, at an elevation of 7,220 feet, between the Laramie and Snowy Range mountains. It is known as UW to people close to the university; the university was founded in March 1886, four years before the territory was admitted as the 44th state, opened in September 1887. The University of Wyoming is unusual in that its location within the state is written into the state's constitution; the university offers outreach education in communities throughout Wyoming and online. The University of Wyoming consists of seven colleges: agriculture and natural resources and sciences, education and applied sciences, health sciences, law; the university offers over 120 undergraduate and certificate programs including Doctor of Pharmacy and Juris Doctor. The University of Wyoming was featured in the 2011 Princeton Review Best 373 Colleges. In addition to on-campus classes in Laramie, the university's Outreach School offers more than 41 degree and endorsement programs to distance learners across the state and beyond.
These programs are delivered through the use of technology, such as online and video conferencing classes. The Outreach School has nine regional centers in the state, with several on community college campuses, to give Wyoming residents access to a university education without relocating to Laramie. On September 27, 1886, the cornerstone of Old Main was laid marking the beginning of the University of Wyoming; the stone is inscribed Domi Habuit Unde Disceret, translated, "He need not go away from home for instruction." The following year, the first class of women began their college education. For the next decade the building housed a library and administration offices; the style of Old Main set a precedent for all future University buildings. The main stone used is rough-cut sandstone from a quarry east of Laramie and the trim stone is smooth Potsdam Sandstone from a quarry near Rawlins. Old Main was designed to be a monumental structure and was designed to be a symmetrical building with a prominent central spire as the focal point.
The building was designed to reflect the character of Wyoming and the rough stone and smooth trim represented the progressing frontier. The design of Old Main had a lasting effect on university structures, most visible by the use of sandstone façade on nearly every building. In 1916, the central spire was removed due to structural concerns and the auditorium was reduced in size during a 1936 renovation. In 1949, the building was remodeled—the auditorium and exterior stairs were removed, it became known as Old Main and the name was carved above the east entrance. Old Main houses university administration including the President's Office and the board room where the Trustees meet. Prexy's Pasture is a large grassy area located within a ring of classroom and administrative buildings and serves as the center mall of the campus; the name is attributed to an obscure rule that the university president, or "prexy", is given exclusive use of the area for livestock grazing. During the administration of Arthur G. Crane the name, "Prexy's Pasture", was formally declared.
Prexy's, as it is called today, is known for the unique pattern formed by concrete pathways that students and faculty use to cross the pasture. When the University of Wyoming first opened its doors in 1887, Prexy's Pasture was nothing more than an actual pasture covered in native grasses; the football team played their games on the pasture until 1922, when Corbett Field opened at the southeast corner of campus. Over time, as the needs of the university has changed, the area has been redesigned; the original design was established in 1924 and in 1949 the area was landscaped with Blue Spruce and Mugo Pine. In February 1965, the Board of Trustees decided to construct the new science center on the west side of Prexy's Pasture; the board president, Harold F. Newton, concerned about the location, leaked the decision to the local press; the uproar that followed caused the board to decide on a new location for the science center and resulted in a new state statute making it necessary for any new structure built on the pasture to receive legislative approval.
The statue known as "University of Wyoming Family" was installed in 1983 by UW Professor Robert Russin in anticipation of the centennial celebration. In the summer of 2004, Prexy's Pasture was remodeled as the first step in a two part redesign project; this step involved removing the asphalt roadway that circled the pasture and replacing it with concrete walkways to make the area a walking campus, as recommended by the 1966 and 1991 Campus Master Plans. The grassy area was increased and new lampposts were installed for better lighting; the second phase of the project involves the construction of a plaza at each corner featuring trees and rocks styled after the rocky outcrops of nearby Vedauwoo. Two of the plazas, Simpson Plaza and Cheney Plaza, have been completed. Several exhibits from the exhibition Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational are featured along the exterior walkway. Outside of its primary use by students travelling to and from classes or socializing, the area is host to campus barbecues and fall welcome events.
In September 1937, the university obtained a Public Works Administration loan during the Great Depression for $149,250 for construction of a student union. On March 3, 1938, ground was broken and construction began on what would become the Wyoming Union. Many students were involved in the construction and twenty-five students were trained to be stone-cutters. From the begin
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture known as the Agriculture Department, is the U. S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally. 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance; the current Secretary of Agriculture is Sonny Perdue. Many of the programs concerned with the distribution of food and nutrition to people of America and providing nourishment as well as nutrition education to those in need are run and operated under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Activities in this program include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income and homeless people each month.
USDA is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where it is committed to working with other agencies to ensure these mainstream benefits are accessed by those experiencing homelessness. The USDA is concerned with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and food on both the domestic and world markets, it plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, or approved nonprofits; the Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 known as Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. The USDA is a partner of the World Cocoa Foundation. Early in its history, the economy of the United States was agrarian. Officials in the federal government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds and animals for import into the United States. In 1837 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents, a position within the Department of State.
He began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839, Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for "the collection of agricultural statistics and other agricultural purposes." Ellsworth's interest in aiding agriculture was evident in his annual reports that called for a public depository to preserve and distribute the new seeds and plants, a clerk to collect agricultural statistics, statewide reports about crops in different regions, the application of chemistry to agriculture. Ellsworth was called the "Father of the Department of Agriculture."In 1849, the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior. In the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring. On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a commissioner without Cabinet status, the agriculturalist Isaac Newton was appointed to be the first such commissioner.
Lincoln called it the "people's department." In 1868, the Department moved into the new Department of Agriculture Building in Washington, D. C. designed by famed DC architect Adolf Cluss. Located on Reservation No.2 on the National Mall between 12th Street and 14th SW, the Department had offices for its staff and the entire width of the Mall up to B Street NW to plant and experiment with plants. In the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was defeated in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. On February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level. In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the federal funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics, other subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state. During the Great Depression, farming remained a common way of life for millions of Americans; the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Home Economics, established in 1923, published shopping advice and recipes to stretch family budgets and make food go farther. USDA helped ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisted with loans for small landowners, contributed to the education of the rural youth, it was revealed on August 27th, 2018 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture would be providing U. S. farmers with a farm aid package, which will total $4.7 billion in direct payments to American farmers. This package is meant to offset the losses farmers are expected to incur from retaliatory tariffs placed on American exports during the Trump tariffs.
The Department of Agriculture was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $139.7 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Animal Damage Control (
Gale W. McGee
Gale William McGee was a United States Senator of the Democratic Party, United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States. He represented Wyoming in the United States Senate from 1959 until 1977. Since his exit from the Senate, no other Democrat has represented Wyoming in the Senate. McGee was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on March 17, 1915, he attended public schools, had planned to study law in college, but was forced by the Great Depression to attend the State Teachers College in Wayne, instead. He graduated from the Teachers College in 1936, worked as a high school teacher while studying for a master's degree in history at the University of Colorado, he continued as a college instructor at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Iowa State College, Notre Dame. In 1946 McGee received his Ph. D. in history from the University of Chicago. Shortly after he received his Ph. D, McGee accepted a position as a professor of American history at the University of Wyoming. Soon after, he founded and served as chair of the University's Institute of International Affairs, which brought national dignitaries every summer through a Carnegie Foundation grant.
Twenty-one teachers from Wyoming high schools were selected each summer to participate. For the next 12 years, the Institute brought international foreign policy thinkers such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Hans Morganthau, Henry Kissinger. In 1952, McGee took a one-year leave of absence from the University of Wyoming to serve as a Carnegie Research Fellow in New York with the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was assigned to research the mysteries of Soviet intentions. In 1956, because of the connections he made during his Carnegie fellowship, McGee led a group of teachers on a trip to the Soviet Union. Active in Democratic Party politics, McGee was asked to run for the United States Congress in 1950, but declined, saying he wanted to get more in touch with Wyoming and its people. In 1955–56 he took a leave of absence from the university to work as top aide to Wyoming Democratic Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney. In 1958 McGee left the university to make his bid for the U. S. Senate, challenging incumbent Frank A. Barrett.
He ran on a program of youth and new ideas. The race between McGee and Barrett attracted the attention of national party leaders on both sides. Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, Senator John F. Kennedy, Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, Senator-elect Edmund Muskie of Maine, Congressman Joseph M. Montoya of New Mexico, former President Harry S. Truman came to the state to support McGee, whose campaign slogan was "McGee for Me!". Lyndon Johnson pledged that, if Wyoming sent McGee to Washington, he would appoint him to the prestigious Appropriations Committee. Eleanor Roosevelt conducted a national fund-raising drive for him. Barrett received assistance from national leaders including Vice President Richard Nixon. McGee defeated Barrett by a margin of 1,913 votes out of a total of 116,230 votes cast in the election, he won the majority of the votes in seven of the 23 counties. These were the southern "Union Pacific" counties Platte, just north of Cheyenne, Sheridan in the north. McGee won the endorsement of the Wyoming AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education and the labor vote played an important part in the election.
He became a member of the Democratic class of 1958, elected in the middle of President Eisenhower's second term. After his victory McGee was appointed to the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee and Senate Majority Leader Johnson kept his promise and appointed him to the prestigious Appropriations Committee. McGee and his fellow Senate freshmen, Thomas J. Dodd and Robert C. Byrd, were the first freshmen to receive such an appointment. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated Lewis Strauss to serve as Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Strauss had served in numerous government positions in the administrations of presidents Truman and Eisenhower. At the time, the 13 previous nominees for this Cabinet position won Senate confirmation in an average of eight days; because of both personal and professional disagreements, Senator Clint Anderson took up the cause to make sure that Mr. Strauss would not be confirmed by the Senate. Senator Anderson found an ally in McGee on the Senate Commerce Committee, which had jurisdiction over Mr. Strauss' confirmation.
During and after the Senate hearings, Senator McGee had charged Mr. Strauss with "a brazen attempt to hoodwink" the committee. After 16 days of hearings the Committee recommended Mr. Strauss' confirmation to the full Senate by a vote of 9-8. In preparation for the floor debate on the nomination, the Democratic majority's main argument against the nomination was that Mr. Strauss' statements before the Committee were "sprinkled with half truths and lies... and that under rough and hostile questioning, can be evasive and quibblesome." Despite an overwhelming Democratic majority, the 86th United States Congress was not able to accomplish much of their agenda since the President had immense popularity and a veto pen. With the 1960 elections nearing, congressional Democrats sought issues on which they could conspicuously oppose the Republican administration; the Strauss nomination proved. On June 19, 1959 just after midnight, the Strauss nomination failed by a vote 46-49. At the time, It marked only the eighth time in U.
S. history. From Harper's Magazine: With Kennedy only eleven votes short of the nomination, Ted Kennedy approached the Wyoming delegation, where Kennedy was known to have eight and a half solid votes, Johnson had six, one-half vote remained loyal to Adlai Stevenson. On
A soldier is one who fights as part of an army. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer; the word soldier derives from the Middle English word soudeour, from Old French soudeer or soudeour, meaning mercenary, from soudee, meaning shilling's worth or wage, from sou or soud, shilling. The word is related to the Medieval Latin soldarius, meaning soldier; these words derive from the Late Latin word solidus, referring to an Ancient Roman coin used in the Byzantine Empire. In most armies use of the word "soldier" has taken on a more general meaning due to the increasing specialization of military occupations that require different areas of knowledge and skill-sets; as a result, "soldiers" are referred to by names or ranks which reflect an individual's military occupation specialty arm, service, or branch of military employment, their type of unit, or operational employment or technical use such as: trooper, commando, infantryman, paratrooper, ranger, engineer, craftsman, medic, or a gunner.
In many countries soldiers serving in specific occupations are referred to by terms other than their occupational name. For example, military police personnel in the British Army are known as "red caps" because of the colour of their caps. Infantry are sometimes called "grunts" or "squaddies", while U. S. Army artillery crews, or "gunners," are sometimes referred to as "redlegs", from the service branch color for artillery. U. S. soldiers are called "G. I.s". French Marine Infantry are called marsouins because of their amphibious role. Military units in most armies have nicknames of this type, arising either from items of distinctive uniform, some historical connotation or rivalry between branches or regiments; some soldiers, such as conscripts or draftees, serve a single limited term. Others choose to serve until retirement. In the United States, military members can retire after 20 years. In other countries, the term of service is 30 years, hence the term "30-year man". According to the United Nations, 10-30% of all soldiers worldwide are women.
Airman Marine Sailor Media related to Soldier at Wikimedia Commons
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus. Serving as a mutual benefit society to working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, including war and disaster relief defending Catholicism in various nations, promoting Catholic education; the Knights support the Catholic Church's positions on public policy issues, including various political causes, are participants in the new evangelization. The current Supreme Knight is Carl A. Anderson; as of 2018, there are 1,967,585 members around the world. Membership is older; the order consists of each exemplifying a different principle of the order. The nearly 15,000 councils, including over 300 on college campuses, are chartered in the United States, Mexico and around the world; the Knights' official junior organization, the Columbian Squires, has more than 5,000 circles, the order's patriotic arm, the Fourth Degree, has more than 2,500 assemblies.
Pope John Paul II referred to the order as the "strong right arm of the Church" for their support of the church, as well as for their philanthropic and charitable efforts. In 2018, The Knights gave US$185,682,989 directly to charity and performed over 75,640,244 man-hours of voluntary service; the Knights are well known for their insurance program with more than 2 million insurance contracts, totaling more than US$100 billion of life insurance in force. This is backed by $21 billion in assets as of 2014; this places it on the Fortune 1000 list. The order owns the Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, a money management firm that invests in accordance with Catholic social teachings. Michael J. McGivney, an Irish-American Catholic priest, founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut, he gathered a group of men from St. Mary's Parish for an organizational meeting on October 2, 1881. Several months the order was incorporated under the laws of the state of Connecticut on March 29, 1882. Although its first councils were all in Connecticut, the order spread throughout New England and the United States.
The order was intended to be a mutual benefit society. These organizations, which combined social aspects and ritual, were flourishing during the latter third of the nineteenth century; as a parish priest in an immigrant community, McGivney saw what could happen to a family when the main income earner died. This was, he wanted to provide insurance to care for the orphans left behind. In his own life, he temporarily had to suspend his seminary studies to care for his family after his father died; because of religious and ethnic discrimination, Roman Catholics in the late 19th century were excluded from labor unions, popular fraternal organizations, other organized groups that provided such social services. Papal encyclicals issued by the Holy See prohibited Catholics from participating as lodge members within Freemasonry. McGivney intended to create an alternative organization; the original insurance system devised by McGivney gave a deceased Knight's widow a $1,000 death benefit. Each member was assessed $1 upon a death, when the number of Knights grew beyond 1,000, the assessment decreased according to the rate of increase.
Each member, regardless of age, was assessed equally. As a result, healthier members could expect to pay more over the course of their lifetimes than those men who joined when they were older. There was a Sick Benefit Deposit for members who fell ill and could not work; each sick Knight was entitled to draw up to $5 a week for 13 weeks. If he remained sick after that, the council to which he belonged determined the sum of money given to him. From the earliest days of the order, members wanted to create a form of hierarchy and recognition for senior members; as early as 1886, Supreme Knight James T. Mullen had proposed a patriotic degree with its own symbolic dress. About 1,400 members attended the first exemplification of the Fourth Degree at the Lenox Lyceum in New York on February 22, 1900. To prove that good Catholics could be good Americans, during World War I the Knights supported the war effort and the troops, it was hoped. Supreme Knight James A. Flaherty proposed to US President Woodrow Wilson that the order establish soldiers' welfare centers in the US and abroad.
The organization had experience, having provided similar services to troops encamped on the Mexican border during Pershing's expedition of 1916. With the slogan "Everyone Welcome, Everything Free," the "huts" became recreation/service centers for doughboys regardless of race or religion, they were staffed by "secretaries" referred to as "Caseys" who were men above the age of military service. The centers provided basic amenities not available, such as stationery, hot baths, religious services. After the war, the Knights became involved in education, occupational training, employment programs for the returning troops; as a result of this, the Order was infused with the self-confidence that it could respond with organizational skill and with social and political power to any need of Church and society. In this sense, the K. of C. reflected the passage of American Catholicism from an immigrant Church to a well-established and respected religious denomination which had proven its patriotic loyalty in the acid test of the