Below here, for reference, is some additional historic background information found for the Knights of Pythias:
Knights of Pythias
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization founded at Washington, D.C. on 19 February 1864.
Knights of Pythias
The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress (approved May 5, 1870. It was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, who had been inspired by a play by the Irish poet John Banim about the legend of Damon and Pythias. This legend illustrates the ideals of loyalty, honor and friendship that are central to the order. The order has over two thousand lodges in the United States and Canada, with a total membership of over 50,000 in 2003.
The order's membership was originally restricted to white males. In 1880, an organization called ''The Supreme Lodge Knights of Pythias, North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa'' was founded; it reserved its membership to Blacks and Asians. The original order sued, alleging that the new order used the name without authorization. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that the new order was allowed to use the name.
The racial requirement for membership was dropped in the 1950s. Although belief in a Supreme Being is a major element of the Pythian creed, the organization is completely non-sectarian and has never restricted membership on the basis of religion so long as one follows this belief in some form or other. In some parts of the U.S. (such as in the metro New York area), membership is predominantly (in some lodges almost entirely) Jewish.
The order's ladies' auxiliary is the Pythian Sisters. An associated organization is the less serious Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan. The Knights of Pythias sponsors two youth organizations: the Pythian Sunshine Girls and the Junior Order, Knights of Pythias for boys.