Good day, intrepid reader! Today’s update isn’t one that deals directly with any particular fez. Instead, we thought it would be nice to share with you the culmination of some of the research the Museum has been doing on the side. Recently, we came across an archive of newspapers from the earliest part of the 20th Century. What did we look up first? Stuff about fraternal organizations, of course!
After a bit of digging, we hit the jackpot in regards to information on the formation and subsequent merger of roughly a half dozen social fraternal organizations aligned with the Odd Fellows. As the popularity of the Shriners grew in the Masonic world, many folks wanted a similar organization in the group they belonged to. This caused the formation of such groups as the Imperial Order of Muscovites, the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection, the Ancient Mystic Order of Cabiri, the Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor, and even more!
By the 1920’s, the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Odd Fellows (the national governing body) had enough of this nonsense and talked several of the organizations into merging. In 1925, they all came together and formed the United Order of Splendor and Perfection, which would be renamed two years later, calling itself the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (which exists to this day.)
So, we encourage you to check out our timeline and learn something about the earliest days of fez wearing fraternalism in America!