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125 Years in Review – 1960s

Luke E. Hart served as supreme knight until his death on Feb. 19, 1964.
In 1963, the Order finances installation of the carillon of 56 bells at the National Shrine.
On Oct. 11, 1961, Supreme Knight Hart visits President John F. Kennedy in the White House. Kennedy, a Fourth Degree Knight, reportedly greets Hart by saying, “Hello, Chief.”
In the spring of 1963, Hart attends a special White House meeting of religious leaders to discuss civil rights.
Supreme Knight John W. McDevitt takes office in 1964. His first priority is amending the Order’s admission policies to counter charges of racial discrimination.
In April 1965, the Order co-sponsors with the Archdiocese of Hartford a Conference on Human Rights at Yale University in New Haven. More than 2,000 people attend the conference on interracial justice.
At the Supreme Council meetings of 1965 and 1966, McDevitt addresses how the Knights will respond to the Second Vatican Council and its call for renewal and reform within the Church and its organizations. The Knights, he says, will be “characterized by respect, reverence and relevance” and a “dynamism which is willing to adapt, to explore and to act.”
In 1967, the Order collaborates with the John LaFarge Institute in New York City on programs to promote social justice and ecumenical outreach. Jesuit Father John LaFarge was a leader of the Catholic interracial movement.
The Knights provides funding for CARA, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which, since its founding in 1964, has conducted social scientific studies on the Church.
On June 30, 1966, Supreme Knight McDevitt visits the Vatican Transmitting Center for the blessing of a new shortwave radio transmitter donated by the Knights. Pope Paul VI blesses the transmitter.
The present Supreme Council headquarters is completed in 1969.Its four 320- foot towers symbolize the Knights’ four ideals of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
In 1969, the Order contributes $75,000 to the U.S. Catholic Conference’s Task Force on Urban Problems to help address poverty and discrimination. The Order also publishes a booklet on Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical affirming the Church’s teaching on marriage and procreation.



Historical Highlights
125 Years in Review
The McGivney Legacy
Supreme Knights Gallery
St. Mary’s Church
Papal Moments
At Work Everywhere
His Timeless Message
Faith in Action
Knights of Columbus Photo Album