“The F.O.E. began its Ten Commandments program in 1951, thanks to Judge E.J. Ruegemer of St. Cloud, Minnesota, member of local Aerie 622, past Grand Aerie officer, member of the Eagle Hall of Fame and onetime chairman of the Eagles National Commission on Youth Guidance. Appearing in Judge Ruegemer's court one day was a teenager charged with auto theft. When Judge Ruegemer asked if he realized he had broken the Ten Commandments, the young defendant said he had never even heard of them. The judge promptly sentenced him to learn and live by them, and the boy was never in trouble again.
At Judge Ruegemer's behest, Minnesota Eagles sponsored the distribution of copies of the Ten Commandments to state courtrooms for the guidance of defendants. The State Aerie adopted the program in 1951, and it grew so rapidly in popularity that the Grand Aerie soon enthusiastically got behind it at the national level.
When famous Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille, then making the movie ‘The Ten Commandments,’ heard about it, he contacted Judge Ruegemer about having granite monoliths engraved with the Ten Commandments and placing them in courthouse squares, at city halls and in public parks around the country.” – Fraternal Order of Eagles