At the start of the 20th century, the Knights of Columbus grew dramatically in response to the needs of communities within the United States but well beyond. By 1910, councils had been chartered throughout the United States and Canada, and international expansion continued into Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba and Panama.
During this early period, the Knights also turned to college campuses. In 1904 Knights and their families attended ceremonies at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., in which the Order presented the school with a grant to establish a K of C chair of American history. Chartered in 1910, Notre Dame Council 1477 was the Order’s first college council, launching college councils that today includes 244 schools worldwide.
1900: The first exemplification of the Fourth Degree takes place on Feb. 22, 1900, in New York City where 1,100 Knights receive the degree. The following May, another 750 Knights take the degree in Boston.
1904: More than 10,000 Knights and their families attend ceremonies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in which a check for $55,633.79 is presented to the school for the establishment of a K of C chair of American history. From 1909 to 1913, Knights raise $500,000 to establish a permanent endowment for CUA.
1905: The first council in the Philippines — Manila Council 1000 — is chartered after the Spanish-American War. The same year, the Order expanded to Mexico, establishing Guadalupe Council 1050 in Mexico City.
1906: The Knights of Columbus moves to a new headquarters in New Haven, right by the New Haven green.
1909: U.S. workers in the Canal Zone start Balboa Council 1371 in Panama City and San Agustin Council 1390 is instituted in Havana, Cuba.
1909: A reported 5,000 Knights meet James A. Flaherty’s train in Philadelphia in 1909 when he arrives at the annual convention where he is elected supreme knight.