The Shriners, or Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.), were established in the U.S. in 1870 as an appendant body to Freemasonry. In order to be eligible for membership in the Shrine, a person must be a Master Mason in the Freemasonry Fraternity. Dr. Walter M. Fleming, M.D. and actor William J. Florence were the first to discuss the idea of a new fraternity for the Masons at the Knickerbocker Cottage in New York in 1870. The two men took the idea seriously enough to do something about it - converting it into what would become the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.), adopting a Middle Eastern theme and organizing Temples meetings. The number of Shriners continued to grow in the 1880s; by 1888 there were 7,210 members in 48 temples throughout the U.S. and one in Canada; in 1898, there were 50,000 Shriners, with 71 of the 79 temples actively engaged in some type of philanthropic work; by 1900, there were well over 55,000 members and 82 temples; and between 1900 and 1918, eight new temples were created in Canada, and one each in Honolulu, Mexico City, and the Republic of Panama. Through the years, these numbers have increased dramatically. Members have included four U.S. Presidents, four Mexican Presidents, One Prime Minister of Canada, and one Hawaiian King. Today, there are more than 411,000 Shriners who belong to 191 Temples or Chapters. Photograph article dated February 2, 1955 reads, "Glenn L. Pearce (right), illustrious potentate of Al Malaikah Temple of the Shrine, receives gold membership card from Dr. Ernest G. Bashor, president of Los Angeles Breakfast Club, at Pearce's initiation into that club. Looking on is C. P. MacGregor, high priest and prophet of Shrine."
1 photographic print :b&w ;29 x 36 cm. Photographic prints
Freemasons Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America Al Malaikah Shrine Temple (Los Angeles, Calif.) Los Angeles Breakfast Club Men--California--Los Angeles--Societies and clubs Fraternal organizations--California--Los Angeles Fezzes--California--Los Angeles Los Feliz (Los Angeles, Calif.) Herald-Examiner Collection photographs Group portraits