In the early 1930s, the threat of atheistic communism was growing in Europe. In response, the Knights organized anti-communist rallies in early 1937. When Pope Pius XI’s encyclical on the subject, Divini Redemptoris, was released in March of that year, the Order printed and distributed a million copies. The Knights also sponsored a new lecture tour and expanded its anti-communism program to include a Crusade for Social Justice.
1932: The 50th anniversary of the Knights is celebrated with Commemoration Week, June 24-30, 1932. Among the highlights is the unveiling in Washington, D.C. of a statue of Cardinal James Gibbons, an early supporter of the Knights who ordained Father McGivney.
1935: On July 8, 1935, Supreme Knight Martin Carmody and other K of C officials meet with President Franklin D. Roosevelt about the ongoing situation in Mexico.
1936: Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, Vatican secretary of state, visits the Knights of Columbus headquarters in New Haven; in 1939, Cardinal Pacelli becomes Pope Pius XII.
1939: Less than two weeks after World War II begins, Canadian Knights establish a welfare program for soldiers comparable to the KC huts program that operated during World War I. Within a year, Canadian Knights raise nearly $250,000 to support troops.