+ A Fourth Degree Honor Guard is present at the cornerstone-laying ceremony, presided by Cardinal Janes Gibbons Sept. 23, 1920

+ In 1952, the Order's Board of Directors agrees to finance construction of the campanile, or bell tower, of the Basilica of the Nation Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The 329-foot bell tower is dubbed th "Kinghts Tower" at its dedication on Nov 20, 1959. Inside the entrance to the campanile is a bronze tablet noting the Order's gift "as a pledge of devotion of its members to our Blessed Lady, patroness of the United States."

+ In 1963, the Order finances installation of a carillon of 56 bells in the Knights'Tower.

+ In 1977, Virgil C. Dechant.the Order's 12th supreme knight, places his administration under Mary's intercession during a Mass at the National Shrine. * The $1 million Luke E. Hart Memorial Fund for the National Shrine is established in 1979 by the Knights' board. Since its creation, more than $1.4 million has been provided to the basilica. Hart was the Order's loth supreme knight (1953-64).

+ The carillon in the Knights'Tower is rededicated Sept. 10,1989, after months of restoration. The Order funded the restoration of the bells and the installation of several new bells. In keeping with medieval tradition, names are given to the largest of bells.The newly added bells are named for saints associated with the Knights of Columbus, among them Michael and Virgil, patron saints of the Order's founder and 12th supreme knight.

+ The 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyages of discovery and evangelization is marked by the Order with a Mass at the National Shrine on Oct. 14,1991. The Quincentenary Cross of the New World is placed on the altar. It is a replica of a cross Pope John Paul II brought to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic in 1984.


+ The Our Lady of Africa Chapel is dedicated in the Crypt Church in August 1998. The Knights contributes $100,000 to the chapel.

+ A stained-glass window of Father Michael J. McGivney in the Crypt Church sacristy is dedicated Nov. 15,1998.

+ More than 12,000 Knights and family members attend the Knights of Columbus Jubilee Year Pilgrimage at the National Shrine on April 1, 2000. The event includes praying of the rosary with Pope John Paul II via live satellite from Rome.

+ The first Knights of Columbus Eucharistic Congress is held at the National Shrine, June 22-23,2002.

+ The Knights marks the first anniversary of the Sept. 11,2001, terrorist attacks with a Mass and patriotic program at the National Shrine.

+ To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 2004, the National Shrine and the Knights co-sponsor an essay contest

Posted 3 Feb 2008