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February 16: The Elks Arise

Today is the 152nd anniversary of the founding of The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Originally they were called The Jolly Corks, which was a drinking society formed to get around New York’s blue laws. Their main entertainment was raising ribald toasts to whomever wasn’t in attendance that night. If you have an uncle in the Elks, and who doesn’t, you probably think The Order of Elks still is a drinking society, but it’s more akin the Freemasons, minus all the airs, pomp, and conspiracy theories.