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Federal Archives

NYC – Bowling Green: Alexander Hamilton Custom House

Image by wallyg
The Alexander Hamilton Custom House is one of New York’s finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture, incorporating City Beautiful Movement planning principles with architecture, engineering, and fine arts. The seven story structure with 450,000 square feet sits on three city block in Bowling Green.

It is here, at the southern terminus of the old Algonquin trade route, Wiechquaekeck Trail, that Peter Minuet purchased the island of Manhattes for trinkets valued at 60 guilders, or about , from the Lenape Indians in 1626. Soon thereafter the Dutch West India Company built Fort Amsterdam on this site, which came to be the nucleus for the New Amsterdam settlement. After the American Revolution the fort was replaced by the brick Government House, which was intended to be but never used as a residence for the President. Instead it became the residence of New York Governors DeWitt Clinton and John Jay. The building served briefly as the Custom House from 1799 and 1815 before being torn down and replaced with rowhouses.

Before a federal income tax was imposed in 1916, a primary source of revenue for the federal government was custom duty. New York City, as the country’s most active port, has had a Custom House since the country’s founding in in 1781. In 1899, the United States Department of the Treasury acquired the Bowling Green property and sponsored a competition to build a new U.S. Custom House. Minnesotan Cass Gilbert, who later designed the Woolworth Building, won the competition by designing a building that was not just a functional building for commerce, but exuded a palatial grandeur. Construction began in 1900 and completed in 1907.

The interior of the building is dominated by the huge rotunda, which survives as one of the largest public spaces in New York. Commissioned In 1936 as part of the Treasury Relief Art Project, Reginald Marsh was commissioned to paint the elliptical space around the 140-ton skylight with sixteen frescoes. The larger sections portray eight successive stages of the arrival of an ocean liner in the harbor. Eight smaller panels, painted in grisaille to simulate statuary, depict famous explorers like Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, Giovanni da Verrazano and Henry Hudson.

Above the main cornice on the sixth story are standing sculptures representing the great commercial sea-faring nations, from the Phoenicians to the Americans.

Central to Gilbert’s design of the Custom House were four separate sculptures to be placed at the front entrance of the Custom House, representing four continents (from left to right) – Asia, America, Europe and Africa. Gilbert asked both Daniel Chester French and August Saint-Gaudens both to submit designs for the sculptures. Saint-Gaudens declined the invitation, citing other work he was occupied with, so French received the commission. French began designing the sculptures of "Continents" in 1903 and they were completed and installed in 1907. Art scholars consider French’s "Continents" to be perhaps the best examples of architecture sculpture in the United States. Each of the four "Continents" represent a view of the continents through French’s early 20th century lens: Asia and Africa are still cloaked in mystery, Europe is in the waning years of its colonial conquests, and America is emerging as a new, vibrant society.

The building was subsequently abandoned in the 1970’s and was scheduled for demolition before being saved and restored in the early 1980’s. In 1987, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York occupied the building and in 1994, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian took over two floors of the Old Custom House.

The United States Custom House was designated a landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965. Its interior was designated separately in 1979.

National Historic Register #72000889

friday1

friday1

Image by rikkis_refuge
DONATION DROP-OFF EVERY SATURDAY AT RIKKI’S REFUGE 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Rikki’s Refuge Educational Center
21410 Constitution Hwy.
Rapidan, VA. 22733
***For this Saturday (June 21, 2014) Rikki’s Refuge really needs LARGE HEAVY DUTY TRASH BAGS, DRY & WET CAT FOOD, DRY & WET DOG FOOD, and PAPER TOWELS!***
You may also leave donations for Rikki’s Refuge at Re-Tail in Fredericksburg any time during normal business hours, if this is more convenient for you!

1. Rikki’s on the Web:
www.rikkisrefuge.org/
2. Rikki’s on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/RikkisRefuge
3. Rikki’s on Twitter:
@RikkisRefuge
4. Rikki’s Blog:
rikkisrefuge.blogspot.com/
5. Rikki’s on Pinterest:
www.pinterest.com/RikkisRefuge/
6. Rikki’s on Flickr:
www.flickr.com/photos/rikkis_refuge/sets/
7. To make a donation to Rikki’s:
www.rikkisrefuge.org/donate

Rikki’s Refuge in Orange County, Virginia, is a 400 acre, no-kill, all species peaceful sanctuary supported solely by donations of kind and loving individuals. The refuge is home to over 1200 animals of over 22 different species, including but not limited to cats, dogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, emus, chickens, ducks, geese, a chukar, peacocks, and more. It is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc. an approved not-for profit Virginia Corporation and IRS tax code 501(c)(3) corporation as determined by the IRS. Federal Tax-ID number 54-1911042. A financial statement is available upon written request from the State Office of Consumer Affairs.

Rikki’s Refuge 5K Race/Walk

Rikki’s Refuge 5K Race/Walk

Image by rikkis_refuge
RIKKI’S REFUGE 5K RACE/WALK
November 1, 2014 at 9:00 AM
Come Join us at beautiful Lake Anna State Park for the 6th annual Rikki’s 5K Run/Walk
Your entry fee of .00 (or .00 on race day) will help the over 1200 animals who call Rikki’s Refuge their home. Checks should be made to Rikki’s Refuge. Donations of pet food and/or other supplies are welcome.
Awards will be presented to the first male and female finisher and the first 3 in each age group (19-under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60-up). Also the team with the most runners/walkers. All pre- registered runners are guaranteed a T-Shirt. The race will be held rain or shine.
The race is sponsored by: Patterson’s Construction, Ed’s Awards & Engraving, VA Runner, Lake Anna State Park, Giant Food Stores, Meadows Farms, and The REACH program.
Entry Forms can be picked up at: VA Runner, Ed’s Awards & Engraving, Giant Food Stores, 360 Feeds or email bugbane30@gmail.com for more information.
Rikki’s Refuge in Orange County, Virginia, is a 400 acre, no-kill, all species peaceful sanctuary supported solely by donations of kind and loving individuals. The refuge is home to over 1200 animals of over 20 different species, including but not limited to cats, dogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, emus, chickens, ducks, geese, a chukar, peacocks, and more. It is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc. an approved not-for profit Virginia Corporation and IRS tax code 501(c)(3) corporation as determined by the IRS. Federal Tax-ID number 54-1911042. A financial statement is available upon written request from the State Office of Consumer Affairs.

the Great Hedge Fund Hei$t

the Great Hedge Fund Hei$ t

Image by eyewashdesign: A. Golden
New Yorkers Protest the US0 BILLION (US TRILLION) Wall Street BAILOUT: Wall Street, NYC – September 25, 2008

VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE on 04 NOVEMBER 2008!

Photographer: a. golden, eyewash design – c. 2008.

This is actually a GOOD guy. See: billionairesforbush.com/index.php for more information.

Friends,

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four-hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans COMBINED! 400 of the wealthiest Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is .6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly 0 billion — the same amount that they were demanding We give to them for the "bailout." Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a 7 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not HIS, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a .5 trillion debt that will take seven generations from which to recover. Why — on –earth – did — our — "representatives" — give — these — robber — barons — $ US850 BILLION — of – OUR — money?

Last week, proposed my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, were predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: THERE…IS…NO…FREE… LUNCH ~ PERIOD! And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there should have been NO HANDOUTS FROM US TO YOU! Last Friday, after voting AGAINST this BAILOUT, in an unprecedented turn of events, the House FLIP-FLOPPED their "No" Vote & said "Yes", in a rush version of a "bailout" bill vote. IN SPITE OF THE PEOPLE’S OVERWHELMING DISAPPROVAL OF THIS BAILOUT BILL… IN SPITE OF MILLIONS OF CALLS FROM THE PEOPLE CRASHING WASHINGTON "representatives’" PHONE LINES…IN SPITE OF CRASHING OUR POLITICIAN’S WEBSITES…IN SPITE OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE PROTESTING AROUND THE COUNTRY… THEY VOTED FOR THIS BAILOUT! The People first succeeded on Monday with the House, but failed do it with the Senate and then THE HOUSE TURNED ON US TOO!

It is clear, though, we cannot simply continue protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think THESE IDIOTS should/’ve do/one. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here’s the proposal, now known as "Mike’s Rescue Plan." (From Michael Moore’s Bailout Plan) It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are that you DIDN’T, BUT SHOULD’VE:

1. APPOINTED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money was expended, Congress should have committed, by resolution, to CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE ANYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the attempted SACKING OF OUR ECONOMY. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse should have and MUST GO TO JAIL! This Congress SHOULD HAVE called for a Special Prosecutor who would vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in future. (I like Elliot Spitzer ~ so, he played a little hanky-panky…Wall Street hates him & this is a GOOD thing.)

2. THE RICH SHOULD HAVE PAID FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT! They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than ,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class should have to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly needed the 0 billion they say they needed, well, here is an easy way they could have raised it:

a) Every couple makeing over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over 0,000 a year should pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It’s the Senator Sanders plan. He’s like Colonel Sanders, only he’s out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich would have still been paying less income tax than when Carter was president. That would have raise a total of 0 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, they should have charged a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This would have raised more than 0 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders should have forgone receiving a dividend check for ONE quarter and instead this money would have gone the treasury to help pay for the bullsh*t bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raised the corporate income tax BACK to the levels of the 1950s, this would give us an extra 0 billion.

All of this combined should have been enough to end the calamity. The rich would have gotten to keep their mansions and their servants and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") would’ve have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools…

3. YOU SHOULD HAVE BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME! There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So, instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, they should have paid down each of these mortgages by 0,000. They should have forced the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner could pay on its current value. To insure that this help wouldn’t go to speculators and those who tried to making money by flipping houses, the bailout should have only been for people’s primary residences. And, in return for the 0K pay-down on the existing mortgage, the government would have gotten to share in the holding of the mortgage so it could get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is 0 billion, not 0 BILLION.

And let’s set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want: a home to call their own. But, during the Bush years, millions of the People lost the decent paying jobs they had. SIX MILLION fell into poverty! SEVEN MILLION lost their health insurance! And, every one of them saw their real wages go DOWN by ,000! Those who DARE look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ASHAMED.! We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home they own.

4. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A STIPULATION THAT IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GOT ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that’s how it’s done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back — with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk — and necessary for the good of the country — then you can get a loan, but WE SHOULD OWN YOU. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD! This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the hen-house. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here’s what Sen.Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:

"In the 1930s … it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

"We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

"I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."

FOR THIS NOT TO REOCCUR, This BILL SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPEALED! Bill Clinton could have helped by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they were done with that, they should have restored the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" should have had enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST! Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No ONE or TWO companies should EVER have this kind of power! The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can’t happen when you have hundreds — thousands — of institutions where people have their money. When we have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we DON’T FACE A NATIONAL DISASTER! If we have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can’t call all the shots (I know… What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a STRONG and "FREE" press!). Laws Should have been enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the GIANT FALLS and DIES. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that NO ONE understands. If you can’t explain it in two sentences, you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money!

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD EVER BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How We have allowed this to happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it’s only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an OUTRAGE! We have created the mess we’re in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. THIS HAS TO STOP! Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be FIRED before the company receives ANY help.

8. CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE STRENGTHENED THE FDIC AND MADE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct to propose expanding FDIC protection of people’s savings in their banks to 0,000. But, this same sort of government insurance must be given to our NEVER have to worry about whether or not the money they’ve put away for their old age will be there. This should have meant strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees’ funds — or perhaps it means the companies should have been forced to turn over those funds and their management to the government? People’s private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it’s time to consider not having one’s retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market??? Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about becoming destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off your TVs! We are NOT in the Second Great Depression. The sky is NOT falling, Chicken Little! Pundits and politicians have lied to us so FAST and FURIOUS it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I wrote to and repeated what I heard on the news last week, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that was true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into their Jacuzzis before they slip into their million thread-count sheets to drift off to a peaceful, Vodka tonic and Ambien-induced slumber.

As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan last week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. I was even pre-approved for a USK personal loan. Yes, life has gone on with little-or-no-change (other than the whopping 6.1% umeployment rate, but that happened last month). Not a single person lost any of his/her monies in bank, or a treasury note, or in a CD. And, the perhaps the most amazing thing is that the American public FINALLY didn’t buy the scare campaign. The citizens didn’t blink, instead telling Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn’t the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say ‘Saddam has the bomb’ so many times before the people realize you’re a lying sack of shit. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can’t take it any longer. The WORLD is fed up & I don’t blame them.

10. THEY SHOULD HAVE CREATED A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE’S BANK." Since they’re really itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t We give it to ourselves? Now that We own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a People’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And, now that we own AIG – the country’s largest insurance company – let’s take the next step and PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EVERYONE. MEDICARE FOR ALL! It will SAVE us SO MUCH MONEY in the LONG RUN (not to mention bring peace of mind to all). And, America won’t be 12th on the life expectancy list! We’ll be able to have a longer lifespan, enjoying our government-protected pension and will live to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused this much misery are let out of prison so that We can help re-acclimate them to plain old ordinary, civilian life — a life with ONE nice home and ONE gas-free car invented with help from the People’s Bank.

P.S. Call your Senators NOW !!! —> www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Since they voted against passing the extension of unemployment benefits and skipped out to "campaign" to us to be re-elected…call them and tell them you will vote for the other "guy" if they don’t get their act together!

UPDATE:

The Bailout Is A Truly Evil Disaster And Enabler Pelosi Must Go

We are hearing more and more reports of how badly the ill-advised banker’s bailout is being handled, multi-million dollar bonuses for Paulson’s old cronies at Goldman Sachs, billions going to finance the takeover of rival banks, making the "too big to fail" even bigger, and the taxpayer getting an otherwise rotten deal for their investment. We even heard a Republic senator asking how fast they could blow the money.

NONE of this could have happened without the fawning complicity of Nancy Pelosi, who infamously said it was Bush’s proposal, INSTEAD of coming forward with a robust alternative plan. Just like Bush, she believes she is immune, she believes she is unaccountable, and shame on us if we don’t do everything we can to defeat her this Tuesday, and replace her with Cindy Sheehan.

Here is Cindy’s last TV spot. Please make whatever donation you can to put this ad on the air in these critical final days.

Last Cindy TV Spot Action Page:
www.usalone.com/cindy/donations_tv2.php

There is still time for you to make a real difference. We thank all of our participants who have already donated so generously to make this campaign what it is. For those who cannot make a contribution, please consider helping with the phone banking, and there is a link for that also on the page above.

The one thing we know is that we must continue to speak out. We must continue to challenge. Surrendering is what our current so-called representatives in Congress are so prone to, NOT what we do. Ultimate victory is not only possible, it is assured if we work as hard as we can for real change, not just the rebranding of the same old boys’
network.

And we promise you, immediately after the election we will go right back to work on pure issue advocacy full time, to continue to build the base of action for the future.

Paid for by Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Donations to Cindy Sheehan for Congress are not tax-deductible

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at www.usalone.net/in.htm

Or if you want to cease receiving our messages, just use the function at www.usalone.net/out.htm

The Birds of Odd Fellows Hall

The Birds of Odd Fellows Hall

Image by elycefeliz
Currently the American Legion Post 123 building.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), also known as the Three Link Fraternity, is an altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization derived from the similar British Oddfellows service organizations which came into being during the 18th century, at a time when altruistic and charitable acts were far less common. In the U.S., it is a Mutual Benefit Corporation (U.S. IRS tax code 501(c)(8)).

Several theories aim to explain the meaning of the name "Odd Fellows". One says that they were called "odd" because in the beginning of Odd Fellowship in the 18th century, at the time of industrialization, it was rather odd to find people who followed noble values such as benevolence, charity and fraternalism.

A variation on that theory states: "The Odd Fellows, at least according to one story, got its curious name from the fact that it was a lodge that opened its doors to the working class who at that time did not ordinarily belong to fraternal orders—and were thus ‘odd’.

Another theory states that Odd Fellows were people who engaged in miscellaneous or "odd" trades. In the 18th century, major trades were organized in guilds or other forms of syndicate, but smaller trades did not have any social or financial security. For that reason, people who exercised unusual trades joined together to form a larger group of "odd" fellows.
A slightly different version of this second theory states: "By the 13th century, the tradesmen’s Guilds had become established and prosperous. During the 14th Century, with the growth of trade, the guild ‘Masters’ moved to protect their power (and wealth) by restricting access to the Guilds. In response, the less experienced (and less wealthy) ‘Fellows’ set up their own rival Guilds. In smaller towns and villages, there weren’t enough Fellows from the same trade to set up a local Guild, so Fellows from a number of trades banded together to form a local Guild of Fellows from an odd assortment of trades. Hence, Guilds of Odd Fellows."

The Manchester Unity Oddfellows (in United Kingdom) state on their website that "Oddfellows can trace its roots back to the Trade Guilds of the 12th and 13th centuries. Some believe that there are records in Scotland which show that the Oddfellows in its original form may have arisen in the 1500s. Some historians claim that it existed before 1650.

On September 20, 1851, IOOF became the first national fraternity to accept both men and women when it formed the Daughters of Rebekah. Schuyler Colfax, (Vice President of the United States (1869–1873) under President Ulysses S. Grant), was the force behind the movement. After the Civil War, with the beginning of industrialization, the deteriorating social circumstances brought large numbers of people to the IOOF and the lodges rallied. From 1860 to 1910/1920, also known as the "Golden Age of Fraternalism" in America, the Odd Fellows became the largest among all fraternal organizations, (at the time, even larger than freemasonry). By 1889, the IOOF had lodges in every American state.

The Great Depression and the introduction of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal brought a decline in membership. During the depression, people could not afford Odd Fellows membership fees, and when the New Deal’s social reforms started to take effect, the need for the social work of the Odd Fellows declined. Some branches of the order (i.e. some countries) have allowed women to join the Odd Fellows itself, leading to the Rebekahs’ decline in importance.

Below are some of the notable men and women who were members:

William Jennings Bryan, U.S. Secretary of State (1913–1915)
Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Senator (1959–2010)
Charlie Chaplin, comedic actor and film director
Wyatt Earp, law officer in the American Old West
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President (1869–1877)
Warren Harding, 29th U.S. President (1921–1923)[40]
Rutherford Hayes, 19th U.S. President (1877–1881)
Charles Lindbergh, American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist
William McKinley, 25th U.S. President (1897–1901)
Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President (1933–1945)

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