6 in HIGH x 2 in WIDE
(15.24 cm HIGH x 5.08 cm WIDE)
Gift of Mr. John E. Ruden

red ribbon with California Banner Tent No. 6, K.I.T.M. of Los Angeles, Cal. in black type, with the Knights of the Maccabees symbol: a circle with the tabernacle in the middle.

Variously known as the Knights (and Ladies) of the Maccabees, Maccabees of the World, Macabees, Womenミs Benefit Association. Their name comes from the Biblical Maccabees. The original early biblical Maccabees were a priestly family of Jews who organized a successful rebellion against the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV and reconsecrated the defiled Temple of Jerusalem. In 1896, the Knights of the Maccabees had a membership of 209,831. The Knights of the Maccabees were a fraternal and benevolent "legal reserve society." Families of deceased members received benefits in the form of legal-reserve insurance. All white persons of sound health and good character, from birth to 70 years of age, were eligible for membership. The order was founded in London, Ontario in 1878 and reorganized in 1883. Before 1914, it was known as the Knights of the Maccabees. Subsequent to 1914, it has been simply been called "The Maccabees". At one time, about one third of membership was in Michigan. Thirty years ago, their national headquarters was located at 5057 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI. From "History of Genesee County Michigan Vol. 1, 1916": Knights of the Maccabees of the World, organized originally in Canada, was incorporated in Michigan in 1884. Originally it operated on an assessment basis: whenever a member died, each living member was assessed 10 cents to go into a pot to provide the widow $1000. After reorganization, it became much more sophisticated, collecting monthly assessments based on payouts. By the 1890s it provided not only death benefits but also sick benefits of $4 to $10/week; total and permanent disability benefits of $50, $200, or $300 annually (depending on the size of your assessment); $175-$2000 for loss of hands, eyes, feet, etc.; funeral benefits, and so on. " Coal miners, "aeronauts" and other dangerous professions excluded. Manufacturers sellers, and drinkers of alcohol also excluded. The Maccabees were one of the more successful of fraternal benefit societies which sprung up after the Civil War. Many insurance companies were not interested in sales to ordinary people and there was little in the way of "safety nets". Groups like the Maccabees, and so on provided a safety net along with pleasant social meetings and other gatherings.

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