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How Did the “G” Symbol Originate?
While the square and compasses with the letter "G" is widely employed as the emblem of the Masonic Fraternity it is relatively new. The square and compasses alone began to be used in the early 19th century. The "G" came into the picture near the end of the century when American jewelers began adding the "G" for artistic purposes. While many Masonic symbolists have tried their hands at interpreting the emblem, the simplemeanings taught all Masons remain the best: (1) The square teaches us to square our actions by the square of virtue; (2) the compasses teach us to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds, while (3) the "G' reminds us that as an understanding of geometry was central to operative Masons so should God be central in the lives of speculative Masons.(Source: Bro. S. Brent Morris, author, Masonic Philanthropies)
"I DIDN'T KNOW THAT...!" By Bro. Jeff Peace The Rite of Memphis ( is a group a regular Freemasons from the recognized Grand Lodges who have formed themselves together for the purpose of pursuing more Light in Freemasonry through the study of Masonic teachings, esoterica, history, and symbolism. Our rituals are a powerful initiatory experience that we continue to refine through the use of the latest technologies. We spend a great deal of time focusing on the quality of the material we provide to our members, both in the form of the initiatory experience and educational materials. The goal of the Rite is to provide a quality Masonic environment in which to learn and work. We accept Master Masons from recognized Grand Lodges who demonstrate a sincere interest in furthering their Masonic studies with like-minded brethren. The Rite also provides educational materials to York Rite Lodges such as Symbolic Degree related PowerPoint slide presentations and others ranging from Masonic history to demographic changes in membership make-up. The Rite is not officially recognized by any Grand Lodge, but has ongoing friendly relations with several at this time. Members of the Rite provide educational lectures and slide presentations for the benefit of the members of these Grand jurisdictions. The value of having a Mystic Temple is your area is directly related to its ability to work with the other Masonic bodies to educate Masons and aid in making Freemasonry a more positive experience for all of the members of the Craft. The Rite of Memphis is not directly connected to the now extinct bodies of the 19th century. Attempts to draw connections between the two are based on misconceptions and/or preconceptions. Any group, whether Masonic or not, must be viewed in light of its present membership, and the goals which it is trying to accomplish. The idea that the Rite is a degree-mill is unfounded. Candidates are required to take each degree and then study the provided written materials. (the Rite does not exemplify degrees as in the AASR-SJ) After a mandatory waiting period they are allowed to present an essay in open Lodge discussing what they have learned from the degree and the materials. They must complete this process before being allowed to take the following degree. Bro. JEFF PEACE ( i>AMERICAN MASON thanks Bro. Jeff Peace ( for helping honor the Freemasons who earned us our reputation as “the oldest, most respected Brotherhood in the world.” Courtesy AMERICAN MASON magazine and AMERICAN MASON E MAG at
The Knights Templar and the Origins of Friday the 13th superstitions
"I DIDN'T KNOW THAT...!" It is said: Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. Don't start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune. If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow. Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck ? as in the tale of H.M.S. Friday ... One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned, named "H.M.S. Friday." They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again. You could say Friday's bad reputation goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. It was on a Friday, supposedly, that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit. Adam bit, as we all learned in Sunday School, and they were both ejected from Paradise. Tradition also holds that the Great Flood began on a Friday; God tongue-tied the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday; the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday; and Friday was the day of the week on which Christ was crucified. It is a traditionally a day of penance for Christians. Though it's clear that superstitions associating Fridays and the number 13 with misfortune date back to ancient times, some sources assign the precise origin of the black spot on the day itself, Friday the 13th, to a specific historical event: the rounding up of the Knights Templar for torture and execution by King Philip IV of France on Friday, October 13, 1307. A brief synopsis of this fascinating morsel of medieval history, Anthony Peña's "Friday the 13th." "In the Western world, the superstition linking Friday the 13th with being unlucky is primarily associated with the final Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques Demolay, and the date of Friday, October the 13th, 1307 AD (Old Style - OS) In 1099 AD the Roman Catholic Church - via the now infamous bloody religious wars of the Christian Crusades - regained control over the holy city of Jerusalem. However, the lands surrounding Jerusalem were still in the hands of the Moslems. According to tradition takes on the story, a warrior order of the Roman Catholic Church eventually banded together that was (allegedly) for purposes of protecting Christian travelers on their way to the holy city of Jerusalem. The warrior order was officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1118 AD, and they were then provided with a headquarters building located on Mount Moriah. This building was located on a site traditionally thought to be the former Temple of King Solomon. Thus, the warrior order became known as the Knights of the Temple, or the Knights Templar. To make a very long (but incredibly interesting) story short, Jacques Demolay became the Grand Master of the Knights Templar in around 1293 AD During the two hundred years of their existence within the Roman Catholic Church, the Knights Templar had grown into a rather rich and powerful political force to be reckoned with. During Demolay's stay in office as Grand Master, the Templars had increasingly grown in disfavor with the current pope, Pope Clement V, and with the King of France, Phillip the Fair. Betrayal In 1307 AD the pope and the king arranged for the Templars to meet with them for a "friendly convocation" in Paris, France. Jacques Demolay was arrested on Friday, October the 13th, 1307 AD (Old Style). Seven years later, in 1314 AD, Jacques DeMolay was burned at the stake for the crime of church heresy. Legend continues on that before Demolay died - he predicted to the king and pope that he would meet them both in heaven within the next year. Fact is... the king and the pope did die in the year 1314 AD Heresy As for the "heresy" surrounding the Knights Templar - I'd love the share the details with you. However... it's rather complicated and controversial - and I'm quite sure it would totally blow your mind. I will say that the "heresy" of the Templars was quite likely related to what might be called the integration or marriage of the "archetypal feminine" with the masculine Christian Trinity. (Was that vague and shrouded or what?) Oh yeah... the rather fantastical theories - purporting the Templars to be some sort of (in literal terms as we understand it today) secret Satanists and/or worshippers of an idol named Baphomet - are based on hoax and distorted conjecture. You might, however, want to pick up a copy of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code."
Lodge Mother Kilwinning No.0
The Mother Lodge of Scotland is situated in the Ayrshire town of Kilwinning. This old and ancient Lodge of Freemasons dates back to the building of Kilwinning Abbey around 1140 and has a unique history second to none in the Masonic world. Masons in other countries and their Grand Lodges especially in the regimented Grand Lodges of the United States should take note of the outstanding simplicity and beauties of freemasonry displayed in original forms and distinguished by the following characteristics: The Lodges in Scotland were permitted to retain their own procedures, regalia, and ritual. Lodges in Scotland and those overseas from them, which are Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland are sovereign bodies in their own right and this affords them a considerable degree of control of their own affairs. The Grand Lodge of Scotland began as a 'bottom-up organization-that is with many Lodges pre-existing Grand Lodge, approximately 100 in number. Other Grand Lodges were formed at a time when there were relatively very few Lodges and began from a 'top-down' position. There is no such thing as a 'Standard' ritual for Scottish Lodges. Each Lodge has had the right to devise its own, within reason, and many do so-with numerous interesting additions. Of course the ritual must contain the principal points of each degree but the scope for elaboration is considerable and is one of the main topics of discussion by visitors from one Lodge to another. Bottoms Up: Fraternally Submitted, Neil R. Whary, PM, Philo Lodge #243, F.& A.M., South River, NJ, USA Grand Lodge of Scotland - Scottish Freemasonry<.i>
...or interior and exterior Masonry. The ancient philosophers divided their respective sects accordingly - and in the exoteric school, instruction was given in public places, with the elements of physical and moral sciences being unfolded, and principles which ordinary intelligence could grasp (and against which the prejudices of ordinary minds would not revolt) were included in places accessible to all. But the more difficult to comprehend tenets were reserved for a chosen few, who, united in an esoteric school, received in secret places, lessons too strange to be acknowledged and too pure to be appreciated by the vulgar crowd who has assembled at the public lecture. That taught in the latter (esoteric) was, in some measure, designated Masonry - for even modern Masonry contains within its bosom both an exoteric and an esoteric school. Thus, every Mason, on his initiation, is exoteric (and he beholds a set of principles with which he is satisfied). But there are those who are not so easily gratified, who desire further and more intimate knowledge. These men become esoteric Masons. (Source: Survey of the History and Mysteries of Freemasonry, Robert L.Breeding (Lt. Col-USAF Ret), The Temple Publishers: Morristown, NJ) ~.
How much credit did Bro. Henry Ford take in the creation of the automobile? According to authors Peter Collier and David Horowitz, he gave much of the credit to others... "I invented nothing new. I simply assembled into a car the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work....Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with everynew thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense."(1)Would we have electricity without Edison? The telephone without Bell?The computer without Gates? The automobile without Ford? According to Bro. Henry Ford, the answer is "yes." (1)Peter Collier/David Horowitz, The Fords (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 55.
ATTENTION MASONS: This is the Mindset of this year's incomingfreshman.
Thursday, March 13, 2003. Dear Andy, Your editorial on 21-year-old Masons coming in was revealing. This may prove to be more so. Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the Faculty a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshman. Here is this year's list: •The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1983. •They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he had ever been shot. •They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged. •There has been only one Pope in their lifetime. •They were 10 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War. •They are too young to remember the space shuttle Challenger blowing up. •Tianamen Square means nothing to them. •Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic. •Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums. •The statement "You sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. •They have never owned a record player. •They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong.. •They may have never heard of an 8 track. The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old. •They have always had an answering machine. •Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV. •They have always had cable. •There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what BETA was. •They cannot fathom not having a remote control. •They don't know what a cloth baby diaper is, or know about the "Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial. FEELING OLD YET-? THERE'S MORE: •They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony. •Roller skating has always meant inline for them. •Michael Jackson has always been white. •Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show. •They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool. •Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave. •They have never seen Larry Bird play. •They never took a swim and thought about Jaws. •The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as W.W.I, W.W.II and the Civil War. •They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran. •They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are. •They don't know who Mork was or where he was from. (The correct answer, by the way, is Ork) •They never heard: "Where's the beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel," or "De plane, de plane!" •They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was. •Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not ba nds. •There has always been MTV. •They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter. Do you feel old yet? If you do, then pass this on to some other 20 old fogies...but don't send it back to me, I feel old enough. Sincerely and fraternally, Ron
Was Bro. Mozart Really Broke When He Died?
Bro. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born at Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756, is thought to be the greatest musical genius of all time. But Mozart's finances were never secure. An ardent Freemason, he borrowed frequently from his Masonic Brothers despite many successful operas including The Magic Flute which reveals much of Masonic practices. He'd became ill in the Fall of 1791—some believe he had been poisoned—and died a pauper at Vienna that December 5.
The Blue Slipper Pin Identified Masonry's Loved Ones
"I DIDN'T KNOW THAT...!" The Blue Slipper Pin Identified Masonry's Loved Ones The Masonic slipper pin is a small lapel pin in the shape of a blue slipper. Many wives, daughters and widows wear one of these slippers on a coat or dress when traveling alone. For many years this pin has served to identify loved ones of Masons to other members of the craft. The origin of this symbol comes from the book of Ruth and is as follows: "Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe,and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. So the kinsman drew off his shoe and gave it to Boaz. Boaz held it up for all in the gate to see. He asked them to be witnesses that he became Naomi's protector, Ruth's husband, and a redeemer of Elimelech's property." Thus, today we have the little blue slipper as an emblem of the protective influence of Masons for their wives, daughters and widows. (Copyright (c) 2003 by American Mason) Thanks to Bro. Ron Goldwyn ( for this "find" which honors the Freemasons who earned us our reputation as “the oldest, most respected Brotherhood in the world.” Courtesy AMERICAN MASON magazine and AMERICAN MASON E MAG at
Feast of Joseph of Arimathea Who Planted Glastonbury Thorn
By Bro. Chuck Blatchley In addition to being the traditional feast of St. Patrick, tomorrow is also the traditional date on which to honor Joseph of Arimathea. All of you grail legend fans will appreciate this 1st c. Jewish counselor, a secret follower of Jesus, and provider of Jesus' tomb. Medieval lore held further that Joseph was also a distant relative of Jesus and a native of Cornwall, where Jesus apparently went for a summer vacation once while a teen! Joseph supposedly took the chalice from the Last Supper and used it to collect Jesus' blood as it flowed during the crucifixion. He then carried this grail cup back to Britain, where it could later inspire King Arthur's knights, along with the round table, a very Masonic like emblem of equality. At one point the monks of Glastonbury claimed to have found a plaque dedicated to Arthur and Gueneviere with two skeletons buried about 15 feet below it. However, this may have been a Norman trick intended to convince the local Welsh that their legendary king was not really going to return at any moment and drive the Normans out. Joseph is also supposed to have founded a religious community, perhaps an order of knighthood, at what later became Glastonbury. His wooden staff took root there and grew into a thorny bush. A descendent of this Holy Thorn still grows by the cathedral. The Glastonbury Thorn is not related to theacacia, but is a symbol of the Nativity, since it blooms around Christmas. We thank Bro. Chuck Blatchley for helping honor the Freemasons who earned us\ our reputation as “the oldest, most respected Brotherhood in the world.”
Where and When Did Freemasonry Begin --?
DEAR EDITOR - On the City Hall building in Bay city Michigan The cornerstone reads A.L.5894 A.D. 1894. This made me curious, so I asked around and was told by the historical society that this was a Masonic Date. If true, can you point me in a direction to learn more about the Masonic Calendar, And why the 4000 year offset? THANKS JAMES By RICHARD W. BATEMAN, GP Assistant Grand Secretary Grand Lodge F & AM of New York From time immemorial, Masons have always tried to trace their heritage as far back as time will go. No one truly knows how old our beloved fraternity is, but many historians have attempted to pin point its origins. Some date the fraternity to the time of the building of King Solomon's Temple. Others believe that the fraternity had its beginnings at the time the Regius Manuscript was composed in England in 1390 AD. Others have dated the fraternity to the early fourteenth century at the time ofthe Crusades, the "Monks of War" and ues De Molay. Throughout our Masonic Ritual, Constitutions, Masonic Law, Lodge By-Laws and Monitor, the teachings of the fraternity have kept its disciples attuned to the workings of the tolling bell. What Master Mason could ever forget the significance of not having seen Hiram Abif since High Twelve yesterday! Amongst the working tools of the Craft, one will always find a twenty-four inch gauge, an instrument used by Freemasons to divide their time into 24 equal parts, which are further subdivided into three equal amounts reserved for service to G-d and distressed worthy Brothers, our usual vocations and rest. Similarly, every Worshipful Master knows that it is his duty to govern the Lodge with equal regularity in the same manner as the rising and setting of the Sun and Moon. Constitutionally, every Masonic Lodge must regulate its communications through its own and unique by-laws, clearly stating a specific day and time when the Lodge shall meet. So why is there such a disparity in Masonic dates? After all, the teaching of our Craft necessitates uniformity and harmony. Regretfully, congruity is not invariably the hallmark of the Masonic calendar. Masonic dates vary greatly from one related body to the next. As is our custom, Ancient Craft Masonry record the dates of important documents using a system calculated to the Latin "Annos Lucis" meaning the "Year of Light". The year is derived from the date of creation, based upon Old Testament Bible scriptures, by adding 4000 years to the present year. Hence, 1999 AD is transformed into 5999 AL. Grand Master Jacq The Scottish Rite Bodies transcribe their respective documents using "Annos Mundi" meaning the "Year of the World". The year is formulated by adding the base figure of 3760 years to the present year, which corresponds to the ancient Hebrew Calendar. Hence, 1999 AD becomes 5759 AM. The three individual York RiteBodies each use a different system for dating paramount events, with the Royal Arch Masons using "Annos Inventions" meaning the "Year of Discovery". This time frame is based on the date of the rebuilding of the Temple of King Solomon. Adjusting the current year by adding 530 years derives the appropriate mathematicalformula for finding the year of discovery. (1999 AD = 2529 AI). The Royal and Select Masters (Cryptic Rite Council) bases its year on the "Annos Depositions" or "Year of the Deposit". This calculation represents the year when the Temple of King Solomon was completed and it is derived by adding 1000 years to the current year. (1999 AD = 2999 ADep). The Knights Templar (Chivalric Masonry) uses "Annos Ordinis" or "Year of the Order". This date as the name implies originates from the birth of the Order of the Temple in 1118 AD. The date is calculated by subtracting 1118 years from the present year. (1999 AD = 881 AO). — RICHARD W. BATEMAN, GP (This excerpt is taken from an article that I wrote in 1999, which should shed some light on the subject)
Bodhisattva Vow taken by those enteringmonastic life
The following is one expression of the Bodhisattva Vow taken by those entering monastic life in the Mahayana Buddist tradition: However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to save them. However inexhaustible the defilements are, I vow to extinguish them. However immeasurable the dharmas are, I vow to master them. However incomparable enlightenment is, I vow to attain it. The following is an interesting expansion of the same (note: Mahayana means great vehicle or great raft): May I be a guard for those who are protectorless, A guide for those who journey on the road; For those who wish to go across the water, May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge. May I be an isle for those who yearn for landfall, And a lamp for those who long for light; For those who need a resting place, a bed, For all who need a servant, may I be a slave. May I be the wishing jewel, the vase of plenty, A word of power, and the supreme remedy. May I be the trees of miracles, And for every being, the abundant cow. Like the great earth and the other elements, Enduring as the sky itself endures, For the boundless multitude of living beings, May I be the ground and vessel of their life. Thus, for every single thing that lives, In number like the boundless reaches of the sky, May I be their sustenance and nourishment Until they pass beyond the bounds of suffering Bro. Ted Berry Washington DC
Poison may have doomed Bro. Beethoven
ARGONNE, Ill. (AP) - An analysis of a lock of Bro. Ludwig van Beethoven's hair suggests lead poisoning could explain certain ailments suffered by the erratic genius, his strange behavior, his death, maybe even his deafness. The four-year analysis of the hair the levels commonly found in people today, according to researchers at the Health Research Institute in suburban Chicago, where the hair was tested. That means it is all but certain that the composer suffered from lead poisoning, also known as plumbism, the researchers said. The Health Research Institute scientists said that Bro. Beethoven's lead exposure came as an adult but that the source of the lead is unclear, though one possibility is the mineral water he swam in and drank during his stays at spas. (Associated Press)
Jewish Americans In Masonic History
Moses Michael Hays introduced the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in America in or soon after 1768. At this time Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia was Grand Master of Masons of Europe which held jurisdiction over America. Under Frederick's authority, Stephen Morin of Paris gave Hays the power to establish the Scottish Rite including all 33 degrees. Later, Hays served as Master of King David's Lodge in New York.* Moses Hays not only founded King David Lodge in NYC in 1769, but was moved by him to Newport RI in 1780. In 1790, 10 members of St Johns Lodge merged with 130 members of King David Lodge, but they continued under the name of St Johns Lodge. The first Master of the combined lodge was Moses Seixas , from one of the first Jewish families of RI and later Grand Master of its Grand Lodge. His property was later owned by Commodore Oliver Hazzard Perry. MW Seixas also signed the letter of greeting to George Washington on his visit to Newport. *"Freemasonry and the American Jewish Tercentenary by Rabbi Abraham I. Feldbin, Shelter Rock Jewish Center, Rosyln, New York. (Haggard, Rev. Forrest D., D. D., The Clerqy and the Craft, 1970, pp. 92-93) by Bro. Richard Gurney, Old Town Lodge No. 908, Southampton
Bro. Franz Mesmer Invents
Bro. Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) was immortalized in the name of the hypnotic technique he pioneered - Mesmerism. To become mesmerized is to become completely entranced by a sound or object to the point of hypnosis. The word was derived from the name of its discoverer, Dr. Franz Mesmer. Bro. Mesmer graduated from the University of Vienna, and became interested in the curative powers of magnets. He felt magnetic fields could be used to positively influence a force he believed present in all living creatures, which he dubbed "animal magnetism." Beginning around 1772, Bro. Mesmer tested his theory that magnets could reduce pain, apparently achieving some initial success. But after 1785, traditional physicians denounced him as a fraud. As a result, he spent the rest of his life in relative obscurity. Today, however, Bro. Mesmer's theories concerning the use of magnets in controlling pain and promoting healing have regained popularity and are being actively researched by doctors and other health professionals. Bro. Mesmer was affiliated with the French Lodge Les Philadelphs. The Learning Kingdom; Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft.
Once a politician in Tennessee, he died defending the Alamo in Texas.
Bro. David Crockett, 1786-1836 - Once a politician in Tennessee, he died defending the Alamo in Texas. After establishing a favorable reputation during the Creek War, Bro.Davy Crockett won great popularity in his home state of Tennessee. Known for his humor and oratory skills, citizens elected Bro. Crockett to the fledgling state legislature in 1821. Soon after, he was elevated to the U.S. Congress, and was a representative from 1827-31, and again from 1833-1835. Bro. Crockett sought re-election to Congress in 1835, but was defeated. It was then that he decided to leave his home state for Texas. There, he supported the future state's independence from Mexico, and died while defending the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. Bro. Crockett was one of several Brothers who died that day at the Alamo. (The Learning Kingdom)
To Bro. Benjamin Franklin, A Tip onTime
One day a gentleman walked into one of Bro. Ben Franklin's book stores. As one of the clerks went to assist him, the gentleman asked the clerk the price of the book he wished to purchase. The young clerk looked at the price posted on the book and said, "That book is one dollar, sir." The gentleman began to haggle with the clerk over the price. The clerk assured him that the correct price for the book was one dollar and no lower. As the man realized that his efforts to haggle with the clerk were going nowhere, he insisted on speaking with Bro. Ben Franklin directly. Bro. Franklin stopped his work, walked out to the storefront and the gentleman asked, "What is the price of this book?" Bro.Franklin answered, "One dollar and a quarter." The gentleman was confused and replied, "Your clerk just said it was a dollar." Bro. Franklin picked up the book and answered, "Yes, it was a dollar. But now you're wasting my time."(1) (1)John C. Maxwell, Timely Advice About Time (Maximum Impact Audio, 1999)
Presenting the Bible to Master Masons
The following is the text which we use to present Bibles to MM's in our Lodge. It is done right after the working tools and presented open: Many Craft Lodges traditionally present a copy of the Holy Bible to their newly obligated brothers. This is normally done when these brethren have just been initiated into Masonic light. Smithtown Lodge has done this after the brother has received further light in order that he may have a better perspective on the meaning of the Great Light in Masonry. There are three vital understandings to be gained and re-affirmed through this presentation: First, that if the Holy Bible is at the center of the Lodge, the Lodge is a holy place. Holy is not to be construed as divine or even divinely-inspired, but, as we are told, separate. Thus, God told Moses to take off his shoes: he was standing in a holy place which should not be profaned with the dirt and dung which shoes collect. In like manner, Masons should view their spirits and their Lodges as holy places where the highest hopes of humanity are as resplendent as the blazing star. Second, that this book presented to you, like paper money, is worthwhile only for what it represents and not for itself. Masonry accepts the Bhagavad Gîtà, the Douay Bible, the King James Version, the Koran, and the Pentateuch among many others which acknowledge and revere a Supreme Architect of the Universe. This book, now given to you in brotherly love, is symbolic of your own faith and not an official version endorsed by Masonry. And third, that if we as upright men and Masons accept and acknowledge a Supreme Architect who is Father of us all, then it must follow that all peace-loving people are truly brothers and should be treated with justice and love. --Bro. Joel Berg, DSA Smithtown #1127
Will The Real Cornerstone Laying Stand Up?
There are several artistic presentations of what some people think the U.S. Capitol cornerstone laying ceremony looked like. No one knows for sure, since no one at that time made any picture, and the descriptions in newspapers were very sketchy. At the U.S. Capitol itself, there are at least 2 original artistic representations of this ceremony that I know of. One is a sculpture on one of the doors of the Capitol, and the other is a painting on one of the walls or ceilings. Neither of these pictures looks like the other, but both show George Washington wearing a Masonic apron and collar. At the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, there is a huge mural that also purports to show what it might have looked like when George Washington led the Capitol cornerstone laying ceremony in 1793. It, too, is different from both of the representations in the U.S. Capitol building. In the early 1990s, the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, commissioned another painting of what this ceremony might have looked like, and that painting is now hanging in the House of the Temple, the headquarters of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, in Washington, D.C. As you might guess, it shows the same ceremony, but looking completely different from all the other representations. No one knows if this representation is accurate, or if any of the others are. The common characteristics, which seem to be supported by the sketchy newspaper reports, are that George Washington presided, he wore Masonic regalia, and he was accompanied and assisted by representatives of several nearby lodges. Partly because of the lack of details about this, the cornerstone that Washington actually used has never been identified again, since 1793. Some people have spent a tremendous amount of effort to try to find it, but as of now no one has been able to find it, or to prove they know where it is. This is the source of great controversy among some people. Also, we will probably never know what the ceremony looked like, or precisely what took place in 1793 at this ceremony. It's too bad CNN and C-SPAN didn't exist then, and that no one took the time to sketch a picture or write a more detailed report of exactly what the event looked like. - Bro.Paul M. Bessel, >Exec.Secty/Masonic Leadership Center, George Washington Masonic National Memorial
What Is Freemasonry?
Here is a good definition from the Missouri Grand Lodge where former President Harry Truman was Grand Master: "It is organized as a fellowship of men, a system of morals, a philosophy taught by degrees through the use of symbol, story, legend, pictures, and drama. It has served as a center of union among differing backgrounds, cultures, and countries. It serves as the means of concciiating true friendship among petsons, who, because of differences, must have otherwise remained at a perpetual distance.* *Haggard, Rev. Forrest D., D.D., The Clergy and the. Craft (Missouri Lodge of Research, 1970) pp. 18-19. by Bro. Richard Gurney, Old Town Lodge No. 908 Southampton
Masonic Cornerstone Supports Old Cadet Chapel at West Point
The Old Cadet Chapel is the oldest public building at the United States Military Academy at West Point. According to Marie T. Capps, writing in the Friends of the West Point Library Newsletter (April, 1997), during the Academy's Centennial Celebration in 1902, plans for the expansion of the Academy included the building of a new Cadet Chapel. Cadets rebelled and argued for the preservation and relocation of the Old Chapel which, after some energized lobbying, was approved by the Secretary of War. . Original plans could not be found so under Col. John Carson, then West Point Quartermaster, the Old Chapel was carefully measured and the plans redrawn. Excavation for the cellar and foundation at the new site was completed in 1909. Every stone in the Old Chapel had been numbered so each could be returned to its original place. All the while workers searched for the obscure cornerstone. It was found finally at the very bottom of the northeast corner - a flat stone on which had been cut , November 1, 1834." The inscription was protected by a piece of sheet lead on the underside of which had been scratched: "Charles Lamb, Mason." This stone was placed at the cemetery in the front of the building below the sill on the left of the entrance. A similar stone, inscribed August 25, 1910, the date-re-erection began, took is former place on the wall beneath the sill on the north side. The Editors thank Bro. L.A. Buchalter of Hudson River Lodge 309 in Newburgh, NY, and Wallkill Lodge No. 627 in Walden, NY..for this item. Bro. Buchalter works in the Directorate of Housing & Public Works at the USMA, and has been there since 1961.
An old English Masonic gem ca 1775 "I was born in antiquity, in the ancient days when men first dreamed of God. I have been tried through the ages, and found true. The crossroads of the world bears the imprint of my feet. And the cathedrals of all nations mark the skill of my hands I strive for beauty and for symmetry. In my heat is wisdom and strength and courage for those who ask. Upon my altars is the Book of Holy Writ and my prayers are to the OMNIPOTENT GOD. My sons work and pray together, without rank or discord, In the public mart, and the inner chamber, By signs and symbols I teach the lessons of life and death, And relationship of man with God and man with man. My arms are widespread to receive those of lawful age and of good report, who seek me of their own quest for perfection, So much desired and so difficult to attain. I lift up the fallen and shelter the sick, hark to the orphan's cry, The widow's tears, the pain of the old and destitute. I am not church, nor party, nor school, Yet my sons bear a full share of responsibility to God, To country, to neighbours and themselves. They are freemen. Tenacious of their liberties and alert to lurking danger. At the end I commit them, as each one undertakes the journey Beyond the vale into the glory or everlasting life I ponder the sand within the glass and think: How small is a single life in the eternal Universe. Always have I taught immortality, and even as I raise men From darkness into light, I am a way of life. I AM FREEMASONRY " Fraternally, Neil R. Whary, PastMaster, Philo Lodge #243, F.&A.M.;, South River, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The Elias Test That Shapened Bro. Walt Disney's Talents
How did Bro.Walt Disney develop his comic talent? A lot of the credit goes to his father, Elias... "(Walt) began assembling a gag file. He sat for hours in vaudeville houses, scribbling down jokes for cartoons. He also copied gags from burlesque comedians at the Haymarket and theStar and Garter. This was a time when burlesque offered family entertainment, not the bawdiness of a later era. "Walt compiled the jokes and tried out the best ones on his father. Elias listened to them without a smile. Two days later, he would remark straight-faced to his son, 'You know, I've been thinking about that joke you told me, Walter. It's funny, very funny.'"(1) Father Elias was a tough customer, but he sharpened Walt's skills, preparing him for a great future in entertainment. After all, if you could make Elias laugh, you could make anyone laugh. (1)Bob Thomas, Walt Disney, An American Original (New York: Hyperion, 1994), p 43
Bro. Harry S Truman - A History Buff
Even as a boy, Bro. Harry S Truman was a student of history. His cousin Ethel remembers, "He had a real feeling for history...that it wasn't something in a book, that it was part of life...that it was of interest because it had to do with people." According to Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, Bro. Truman himself said that "reading history, to me, was far more than a romantic adventure. It was solid instruction and wise teaching which I somehow felt that I wanted and needed." Bro. Truman never saw history as abstract facts and figures. Rather, he saw history as a guidebook to life. A guidebook that would eventually lead him to the White House as our thirty-third president. (Great Life Lessons)
Bro. Benjamin Franklin's Quest for Learning
Young Ben Franklin would sacrifice just about anything for an opportunity to learn. Early on, he was so attracted to learning and teachings that his father believed him headed for the ministry. But since his family had no money for a college education, he ended his schooling at ten years old, apprenticing with his father as a candle maker, then to his brother James as a printer. Finding himself with little spare money for books or spare time for study, Franklin devised a plan. In his own words "I happened to meet with a book recommending a vegetable diet. I determined to [adopt] it and then proposed to my brother that if he would give me the money he paid for my board, I would board myself. He agreed, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me. This was an additional fund for buying books. "But I had another advantage in it. My brother and the rest going from the Printing House to their meals, I remained there alone, and [eating] my light [meal] (which often was no more than a biscuit or a slice of bread, a handful of raisins or a tart...and a glass of water) had the rest of the time until their return, for study, in which I made the greater progress from that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which usually attend temperance in eating and drinking."(1)Benjamin Franklin understood the value of reading and learning early on. His passion for learning laid the foundation for his successful career as inventor, poet, philosopher and statesman. (1)Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 16-17.
Bro. Harland
There are a ton of legends accusing many prominent public figures of supporting such unsavory organizations as the church of Satan of the KKK. One points to the late Bro. Harland "Colonel" - Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, now part of Tricon and better known as KFC.. Actually, Colonel Sanders could not have left a portion of the company assets to the KKK when he died, as some charge, because he didn't own it. He sold the rights to the company for $2 million 16 years before his death in 1980. He could not bequeath that which he did not own. There is no substantiated evidence that the Colonel left anything to the KKK in any way, shape, or form, and to say he did would be purely speculative. ( Michael Vincent - EMAZING Strange Truths)
Bro. James Hoban, The Irish-Catholic Mason Who Built - then Rebuilt - The White House>
Irish-American James Hoban (1762-1831) was born in County Kilkenny, educated in Dublin, and moved to America around the time of the Revolution. Settling in South Carolina, he became a noted designer of plantation houses. But he earned eternal fame for designing the White House, America's presidential mansion. His proposed design for the structure was chosen from a number of drawings submitted by other architects, one of which was initially put in charge of its construction. When that designer was said to have been thwarting Bro. Hoban's plans, Hoban himself was made superintendent of the project. Despite a lack of funding, Bro. Hoban's efforts permitted President John Adams to occupy the building in 1800 -- just nine years after Bro. George Washington had selected the site for the presidential residence. After the War of 1812, when the British had burned the White House, Bro. Hoban's was called upon to reconstruct it. He ordered it painted white. On 1797 Bro. Hoban was appointed superintendent of the executive buildings to be constructed, including treasury, State and War and Navy Buildings He also designed Blodgett's Hotel at 8th and E. Streets, N.W. He married Susanna Sewell in 1789 and by her had 10 children. He was a devout Roman Catholic as well as an ardent Freemason , it is not known where he was made. His freedom of action was due to the fact that Roman Catholic Bishop Carroll, stated in a letter dated 1794, that the prohibitory Papal edicts would not be enforced in his diocese. Under Hoban's leadership, a number of Irish Catholics and Scotch Presbyterians organized Federal Lodge No. 1 in Washington, D.C. of which Bro. Hoban was first Master. That Lodge participated in the laying of the cornerstone of the Capitol by Bro. George Washington. Bro. Hoban was also High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter in 1799. He was also a captain in the Washington Artillery Company. When the city was incorporated in 1802, he was elected to the City Council where he remained a member until his death on December 8, 1831. His body was interred in the graveyard of St.. Patrick's Church, but because of an ordinance prohibiting burials within the city, the Catholics purchased nearby Fenwick Farms to which his remains were removed along with others. In 1863, his body was exhumed by his grandson and reburied at Mt. Olive Cemetery. (Source: Freemasonry: A Celebration Of The Craft, and Coil's Encyclopedia of Masonry)
Before Wendy's -Bro. Benjamin Franklin-?
When we hear the word "franchise" we think of twentieth-century entrepreneurs like Bro. Dave Thomas , the man who founded the Wendy's chain of restaurants. But Bro. Ben Franklin? Bro. Benjamin Franklin was way ahead of his time. In order to expand his printing business, he set up branches of his print shop in nearly every city on the Eastern seaboard. In return for setting the shops up, he then took a share of the profits. And like the modern franchises of today, he even sold the print shops the supplies they needed to run their business, like ink and paper. Franklin understood that the secret to growth is to empower others, and that the secret to wealth is to always keep a finger in the pie. Bro. Benjamin Franklin personifies the spirit and inventiveness of the modern world. His accomplishments read like an almanac of greatness: • Inventor; poet; philosopher; pamphleteer. • Distinguished member of three national academies of science. • America's first Postmaster general. • Founder of Philadelphia's first police force, lending library, and theacademy which would become the University of • Pennsylvania. • Founder of the first fire insurance company. • Delegate to the Constitutional Convention. • Drafter of the Declaration of Independence. • One of America's most effective statesman and ambassadors. But for all his achievements, and for all his wealth, the epitaph Franklin wrote for himself simply reads "Here lies the body of Ben Franklin, printer." In honoring his humble roots as printer's apprentice, Bro. Benjamin Franklin reveals a lot about what made him great. (Source: GREAT LIFE LESSONS)
July 5, 1810 Born - Bro. Phineas Taylor Barnum
, Promotor of the bizarre and unusual. Barnum's American Museum opened in 1842, promoting unusualacts including the Feejee Mermaid, Chang and Eng (the original Siamese twins), and General (and Bro.) Tom Thumb. In 1815 he began his promotion of Jenny Lind, "The Swedish Nightingale, " and parlayed her singing talents into a major financial success. Barnum also cultivated a keen interest in politics,founding the newspaper, Herald of Freedom whose editorials resulted ion numerous lawsuits and a short term in jail for Barnum. In 1852 he declined the Democratic nomination for Governor of Connecticut, but did serve two terms in the Connecticut legislature, beginning in 1865. He was defeated in his bid for US Congress in 1866, but served as Mayor of Bridgeport, CT from 1875 to 1876. In 1871, "The Greatest Show on Earth" opened in Brooklyn, NY. Barnum then merged with his rival J.A. Bailey in 1881 to form the Barnum and Bailey circus. Bro. P.T. Barnum was born at Bethel, CT. and died at Bridgehport, CT. on April 7, 1891. Source: American Mason magazine)
Bro.Voltaire: 1694-1778
Playwright, Philosopher, Poet, Writer Had Voltaire been only a playwright, only a philosopher, only a poet,he might still have been a figure of great historical significance.Born Francois Marie Arouet, he appended "de Voltaire" to his name after the 1718 premiere of his popular play "Oedipe," perhaps to emulate nobles of the day. It is thought the word "Voltaire"obliquely referred to the village of Airvault, where relatives owned property. Voltaire wrote poetry, histories, essays, and thousands of letters advancing the causes of religious tolerance, freedom of expression and scientific exploration. His enlightened, sometimes irreverent, opinions found flower in the American and French revolutions. His view on freedom of speech is capsulized as follows: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Voltaire's memorable last words were reputed to be "this is no time for making new enemies" -- wryly uttered when he was asked to renounce Satan on his deathbed. Voice of Enlightenment He saw himself as the tireless enemy of injustice and intolerance. The french writer and philosopher was a brilliant satirist and a defender of victims of religious intolerence. The church condemned him as an atheist (although he ws really a Deist) and he left France on more than one occasion , for England, Prussia and Switzerland. On 7 April, 1778, Bro. Voltaire was escorted by Bro. Benjamin Franklin into Lodge Les Neuf Soeurs, at Paris, and was initiated into the craft. (Freemasrony: A Celebration the Craft, Hamill and Gilbert, JG Press) Here are several memorable reeflections of his from "Superstition" in Philosophical Dictionary : "Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them." "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."
Solomon's Temple
Why isn’t the plan of King Solomon’s Temple in the Bible? The answer is that the plan wasn’t found until after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. A colonel of Israeli intelligence and Yigawl Yadin, a military advisor and archeologist, found the scroll describing the plan that came from the lost sixth book of the Torah in an antiquities dealer’s shop in East Jerusalem. Bedouin shepherds brought the 25 foot scroll rolled up in an earthena jar from a cave near the Dead Sea. This Temple Scroll, made by Essene scribes at the Qumran settLement in the desert, escaped the Roman devastation of 70 A.D. The temple scroll editor Yadin said “The Torah (the first part of the Bible) gives no divine law concerning the plan of the templet”* However, the Bible does refer to a plan: Then David gave Solomon his son the PLAN of the vestiblule of the temple ... inner chambers ... courts of the house of the Lord (I Chronicles 28:11-19). The Essene scribes of the second century B.C. used the lost sixth book of the Torah to copy the words of the temple plan on the thin skin of animals at Qumran in the desert. Archeologist Yadin said of the Dead Sea scroll “God ... is the MasterArchitect supplying the plans missing from the Torah. At the end of days, in the new creation, God himself will build the temple.”* *Yadin, Yigael, “The Temple Scroll -the Longest Dead Sea Scroll” in Shanks, Hershel, Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York, 1992 —Bro. Richard Gurney, Old Town 908, Southampton, NY
DeWitt Clinton - Masonic Enigma
De Witt Clinton was a prominent and popular American statesman, born 1769, died 1828. He was a political figure in New York State from 1797 to his death in office. He was United States Senator 1801 - 1803; resigned to become Mayor of New York City In 1817, he was elected Governor of the State which position he held until his death, except 1822 24, and in that capacity was a leader in the formation of public schools ion New York which became the model for the nation. He was made a Freemason in 1793, Grand Master in 1806, Grand Master of Knights Templar in 1814, and General Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons in 1816. He was responsible for the building of the Erie Canal, some times called "the Eighth Wonder of the World" and at other times "Clinton's Ditch." The Canal was a major factor in the opening of the west, and establishing New York as a leading commercial center. He was unfortunate in being prominent in the political and Ma sonic fields at the time two serious complication arose,(1) the clandestinism of Joseph Cerneau (q.v. 1807-1827 and (2) the Morgan Affair (q.v.) of 1826, although he did not live to see the most deplorable consequences of the latter. He became a member of and for several years head of the Cerneau body in New York, and the statement that he later withdrew is contradicted by the minutes of that body. Although Governor when Morgan was abducted in 1826 and subject to the popular hue and cry, he never wavered in allegiance to the Fraternity, but denounced the act as irresponsible and unauthorized action of mistaken individuals. At the height of this anti-Masonic craze he said: "I know that Freemasonry is friendly to religion, morality, liberty and good government. I shal1 never shrink under any state of excitement, or any extent of misapprehension, from hearing testimony in favor of the purity of an institution which can boast of a Washington and a Franklin and a Lafayette as distinguished members which inculcates no principles and authorizes no acts that are not in accordance with good morals, civil liberty and entire obedience to the government and the laws." His influence probably had the effect of softening the blows which afterwards became quite severe. (Source: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia)
Bro. Henry Ford Caused Clockls to Shudder
While his brothers had a passion for playing sports, young BRO. Henry Ford had a passion for playing with machinery. According to biographers Peter Collier and David Horowitz, a neighbor was known to have said, "Every clock in the Ford home shudderedwhen it saw (Henry) coming."(1) Collier and Horowitz tell us that Henry would often spend all day walking to Detroit just to visit the hardware stores and look over watchmaking tools. And while people started calling him "queer duck," his mother called him a "born mechanic" and encouraged him in his mechanical endeavors. Bro. Henry Ford found his passion early in life. Add to that timely encouragement from his mother -- plus a lot of hard work -- and you have one of the great formulas for success. (1)Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Fords (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 21-22.

A lot of people don't realize what is meant by, "A man, freeborn..." A friend of mine, who is black, was rather upset when he heard that phrase, thinking that we were an organization that had deep discriminatory roots. While I couldn't honestly argue this conclusion, I could at least argue that it wasn't based on our requirements. The requirement of being free-born was born in the middle ages, when farmers, mill workers, and others of that class were usually considered the property of the land that they worked on. They work that they did paid for the right to live under their lord's protection. The theory, I believe, was that they weren't able to legally speak for themselves, so they couldn't take an obligation. African slavery did not start in Britain until 1562. If my memory serves me correctly, I remember seeing instances of the requirement in earlier documents (one of the manuscripts). Scott Gaertner Anchor-Astoria Lodge No. 729 Grand Lodge of New York
How Were/When Were Railroad Lodges Born?
Railroad Lodges were generally found in communities that housed what was called "Section Gangs" on the railroad. These were railroad track men who were responsible for maintaining a section of railroad, and hence, usually were/are found in small communities that, were it not for the railroad, would be called farming communities. These Lodges usually met on Friday nights, since track work generally went on till dusk, and track gangs normally quit early on Friday, giving them enough time to go home, clean up, and have supper before Lodge meeting. I've been in have talked to some fine Masons who are members of "Railroad Lodges." For example, a good friend and Mason who is a member of Gordonsville, VA Lodge once invited me to stated (which I believe was on a Friday evening) with the disclaimer: "It's a Railroad Lodge." Where to look for Railroad Lodges? Find a map of all the railroads in Virginia (or elsewhere), and search for where the old depots were...Most of those towns will have been, or had a Railroad Lodge at some point. City lodges, such as Widow's Sons' #60 in Charlottesville, VA where I am SW, may might have a Railroad Lodge in the background somewhere, but are farremoved from it today. However, many small railroad communities maintain fairly fresh memories of track gangs and the Railroad Lodge. Thanks to Bro. Tim Edwards who grew up in Verona, KY...A section gang town surrounded by farms. His Father railroaded for the L&N; Railroad for 30+ years, and Bro. Tim was raised in Verona Lodge, #876, Verona, KY, which was a Railroad Lodge and met on Friday evenings. His y email is: or Tim Edwards, SW Widow's Son's #60 Charottesville, VA
Coming to New York City soon? Why not enjoy an escorted tour of New York Grand Lodge and its newly renovated magnificent 1,200-seat Masonic Hall, its Museum and Library, numerous Lodge rooms and other facilities. Included is a short introduction to our New York State and USA MASONIC History. All you need do to arrange a tour is contact , Bro. Steven S. Grant, Tour Guide. What to bring with you? Your family and friends, Masons and non-Masons. You'll want to bring a Camera to take photos you can show to your Brethren back home. If you want to attend a Lodge in session, you'll need a document establishing your Masonic Affiliation, of course. And your Apron which would make a most welcome subject for our local Brothers to see (though we can provide a White Apron before your entrance into the Lodge ). Sound interesting? Need Date, time and place to be mutually acceptable. Tour Office located on the Main floor in "MASONIC HALL," 71 West 23rd Street, corner 6th Avenue, NY, NY. Steven S. Grant, Masonic Hall Tour Guide PDDGM Third MANHATTAN. Masonic District E-mail is: Telephone and FAX # (201)263-0711 (You may call me up to midnight, including Weekends.)
“The Mystery of Solomon’s Temple”
Why isn’t the plan of King Solomon’s Temple in the Bible, The an swer is that the plan wasn’t found until after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. A colonel of Israeli intelligence and Yawal Yadin, a military advisor and a archeologist, found the scroll describing the plan that came from the lost sixth book of the Torah in an antiquity~ dealer’s shop in East Jerusalem. Bedouin shepherds brought the 25 foot scroll rolled up in an earthen jar from a cave near the Dead Sea. This Temple Scroll, made by Essene scribes at the Qumran settlement in the desert escaped the Roman devastation of 70 A.D. The temple scroll editor Yadin said “The Torah (the first part of the Bible) gives no divine law concerning the plan of the temple”~ However, the Bible does ref. to a plan: Then David gave Solomon his son the Plan of the vestibule of the temple ... inner chambers ... coun of the house of the Lord (I Chronicles 28:11-19). The Essene scribes of the second century B.C. use the lost sixth book of the Torah to copy the words of the temple plan on the thin skin of animals at Qumran in the desert. Archeologist Yadin said of the Dead Sea Scroll “God ... is the Master Architect supplying the plans missing! from the Torah. At the end of days, in the new cr.eation, God himself will build the temple.”* *Yadi’ Yagael, “The Temple Scroll -the Longest Dead Sea Scroll” in Shanks, Hershel,
Can A Man Be Made A Mason "A Sight"?
He sure can. The action is called "Grand Master's Prerogative." What a Grand Master does to accomplish this act is set aside any portion of law of a Masonic jurisdiction. But a man who is made a Mason "By Sight" still has to be elected to some Lodge and “by affiliation to become a Mason"in good standing." While "On Sights" are rarely done today some prominent men who have been made Masons in this manner include Bro. William Howard Taft, President of the United States ( 1909), Bro. Andrew Mellon, financier (1928), General Douglas MacArthur (1936) and General George Catwell Marshall (1941). There have been others.(Copyright (c) 2002 by American Mason)
“geo washington Trivia” 11 Sept ‘02
What do we really know about Bro. George—? A Quickie Quizz~ Which of the following well-known stories of Bro. George Washington are true? A. He admitted chopping down a cherry tree. B. He wore wooden teeth. C. He grew up in a rich, aristocratic family. D. His mother was proud of his accomplishments. ANSWER. None of the above. The cherry tree story was invented by Mason Weems, Bro.Washington's first biogra-pher; his false teeth had no wood in them; he grew up relatively poor; and his mother, according to historian James Flexner, "was always complaining that he wasn't staying at home and taking care of her." Was Bro. Washington ever Master of his Lodge? No. Not of The Lodge at Fredricksburgh where, after paying a membership fee of two pounds, three shillings, he was initiated on November 4,1752, "pass'd fellow Craft" on March 3, 1753, and raised as Master Mason on August 4, 1753. But when he became a charter member of Alexandria Lodge 22, Virginia, he was elected its first Master and served two terms running from April 28,1788, to December27,1789. While sixteen Presidents have been Masons Bro. Washington is the only one who was serving as a Master of his Lodge at the time of his inauguration as President of the United States. This took place on April 30, 1789. Contrary to general belief, Bro. Washington was never a Grand Master, though the convention which led to the formation of the Grand Lodge of Virginia did nominate him for the job. He declined the honor. He was also named as prospective Grand Master for a General Grand Lodge which was being proposed at about the same time. At Bro. Washington's death in 1805 Alexandria Lodge 22 renamed itself Alexandria-Washington Lodge 22, it's name to this day. Many Lodges, cities and schools are named for him.
James Amstead Lafayette- African-American spy
James Armistead, a Virginia slave, deeply admired the Bro. Marquis de Lafayette, a dashing French nobleman who had joined the cause of the American Revolution. So much did he want to serve Bro. Lafayette, that Armistead successfully implored his master to permit him to join the Frenchman in the fight against England. The British were actively recruiting American slaves to their cause by promising them freedom should the Americans be defeated. So General Charles Cornwallis was not surprised when Armistead appeared before him to offer his services to the British. Little did Cornwallis know, but Armistead secretly informed Bro. Lafayette of British plans, which ultimately proved of significant aid to the Americans in the defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown. After the battle, Cornwallis was surprised to see Armistead conversing with Lafayette. Only then did he realize Armistead had been a spy. When the war ended, Armistead was granted his freedom by the Virginia legislature, which said of him that "at the peril of his life, he found the means to visit the British camp, and there perfectly did many jobs." Armistead ultimately adopted the name of his hero, becoming James Armistead Lafayette. Today his portrait can been seen in the Valentine Museum, in Richmond, Virginia. The Learning Kingdom
Bro. James Garfield, 20th U.S. President , Second to be Assassinated
Six months after he became president, Ohio's James Garfield was the second American president to be shot while in office. (The first was Abraham Lincoln.) That tragic event had been preceded by a contentious election in which Bro. Garfield had defeated Winfield Scott Hancock by a mere 10,000 votes. During the Republican convention, Bro. Garfield had actively campaigned for his political ally John Sherman. When ballot after ballot failed to nominate apresidential candidate, Bro.Garfield was named as a "dark horse" possibility and finally received the party's support for president on the 36th ballot. In his six months as president, Bro. Garfield fought corruption but encountered significant opposition from Senator Roscoe Conkling, who had taken offense to Garfield's political appointments. When Conkling resigned from the senate in protest, Bro. Garfield's position of power was reinforced, but it wasn't to last. Attorney Charles Jules Guiteau, who had also unsuccessfully sought a government appointment, shot the president at the Washington, D.C. railroad station. Despite attempts to remove the bullet, including the use of an early metal detector developed by Alexander Graham Bell, Bro. Garfield died of blood poisoning several weeks later. Bro. Garfield was initiated November 19, 1864 in Columbus Lodge 246 at Garrettsville, OH, passed the same year and raised in 1864. He ws Chaplain in 1868, and 1869. He was also a member of Pentalpha Lodge 2 at Washington, DC, of the Mark and Royal Arch, and of the Scottish Rite. He was also a Knight Templar. (The Learning Kingdom)
Bro. "Teddy" Roosevelt receives the Medal of Honor
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 80 years after his death, Bro. "Teddy" Roosevelt will receive the Medal of Honor for leading a charge at San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War a century ago. "We as a family are delighted," Roosevelt's great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt, said. "This is something Teddy Roosevelt wanted. He would say, 'Bully.'" Tweed Roosevelt, 58, worked with several members of Congress in 1998 to win passage of legislation requesting the president to award Roosevelt the nation's highest medal for valor. Clinton asked for an Army review, and last summer the Army recommended the honor. Several months passed without action. Then last month, the bill's main Senate sponsor, Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota, gave President Clinton a letter from Tweed Roosevelt. Conrad delivered it, appropriately enough, in the Roosevelt Room, where Clinton was preparing for a White House bill-signing ceremony. (Associated Press)
Bro. Harry Truman - No
"He was not at all what the men expected. One of them, recalling the scene, said he looked like 'a sitting duck.' Another remembered 'a stirring among the fellows.... Although they were standing at attention, you could feel the Irish blood boiling--as much as to say, if this guy thinks he's going to take us over, he's mistaken.'"(1) McCullough recounts that later in the day, the soldiers further challenged Truman's authority by staging a sham stampede of their horses and by fighting in the barracks. Bro.Truman took swift and firm action. The very next morning he posted the names of the noncommissioned officers who were busted in rank. He called the rest of the officers together and told them, "I didn't come over here to get along with you," he said. "You've got to get along with me." The "sitting duck" had stood his ground and immediately earned the respect of his men. He soon turned what many considered the worst group in the regiment into one of the best. (Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough recalling Bro. Harry Truman's first day as a captain in World War I..). (1)David McCullough, Truman (New York: Touchstone Books, 1992), p. 117.
Bro. James Polk - America's first
In 1844, many observers expected the Democratic convention to nominate former President Martin Van Buren as its candidate for chief executive. Bro. James Polk had been mentioned only as a potential nominee for vice president. However, Van Buren opposed the annexation of Texas, which lost him support in his battle with Lewis Cass, and Bro. Polk emerged as a compromise candidate when the convention became deadlocked. Ultimately, votes from delegates in the southern and western states resulted in Bro. Polk's nomination in the ninth ballot. A taciturn man, Bro. Polk nonetheless went on to defeat eloquent statesman Henry Clay of the Whig party, who also opposed territorial expansion, to become 11th President of the US. In his single term of office, Polk saw the boundary between Oregon and Canada established by treaty with Britain. He also gained a huge territory through his success in the Mexican War, in which American troops eventually occupied Mexico City until Mexico ceded California and New Mexico, and gave up all claims to Texas. Bro. Polk was iniiated, passed and raised in 1820 in Colmbia Lodge 21, Columbia, TN. He was Junior Deacon in 1820, then Senior Warden of that same Lodge. He was also a member of Mark and Royal Arch. (The Learning Kingdom; Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft)
Bro. Thurgood Marshall,- first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court
Bro. Thurgood Marshall's grandfather was a former slave who fought on behalf of the Union Army during the Civil War. His mother was among the first women to graduate from Columbia Teacher's College. And Bro. Marshall himself was a pioneer, becoming the first African-American on the Supreme Court of the United States in 1967. During a lengthy legal career with the NAACP, Bro. Marshall gained significant experience arguing cases before the court on which he one day would serve. In the 32 cases where he was called upon to argue on behalf of defendants or plaintiffs, he was victorious 29 times. Perhaps the most famous of those victories was 1954's Brown vs. The Board of Education, which ultimately resulted in the forced desegregation of schools across America. While on the Supreme Court, Bro. Marshall was often at odds with conservative justices. He became known for his eloquent dissent and sharp wit. Upon his retirement in 1993, he was replaced by Clarence Thomas.
Bro. George M. Cohan inspired the movie
At the age of 16, Bro. George M. Cohan published his first song, "Why Did Nellie Leave Home?" It was his first of hundreds of tunes, some of which would become standards. Bro. Cohan's song list includes popular tunes like "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "Mary's a Grand Old Name," as well as such patriotic anthems as "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There." Twenty-three years later, just before America's entry into World War II, Congress authorized Bro. Franklin Roosevelt to present Bro. Cohan with a gold medal. In addition to song writing, Bro. Cohan was a playwright, producer, and actor. He appeared in "Ah Wilderness" and "I'd Rather Be Right," and wrote plays including "The Little Millionaire," "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," and "The Merry Malones." He was immortalized in 1942 in Hollywood's "Yankee Doodle Dandy," and in 1968 in the Broadway musical "George M!" Bro. Cohan was raised in New York city's Pacific Lodge No. 233 in 1905. He was also an active Shrine Mason. (The learning Kindom)
Bro. Benjamin Franklin -- one of the America's first spies.
Students of history have long respected Bro. Benjamin Franklin as ascientist, statesman, inventor, and diplomat. But, he was also one of the first Americans to actively engage in espionage for his country. During the American Revolution, Bro. Franklin went to France on behalf of the fledgling United States to court the support of the French government. Bro. Franklin appeared to be a harmless emissary of his government, but was actively engaging in propaganda efforts and paramilitary operations to further the cause of American independence. Among his most successful schemes was the creation of a false impression that American and British relations were about to take a turn for the better, prompting France to sign a military alliance with the United States. Bro. Franklin also helped plan the only American attack on the British Isles, and created false news reports thatswayed British public opinion against the war. The CIA has honored Franklin's pioneering acts of espionage: The Learning Kingdom
First European Settlers to Land at Australia were Convicts
After Captain and Bro. (?) James Cook visited Botany Bay, on the east coast of Australia during his voyage of discovery in 1770, the continent of Australia remained unexplored and unsettled by Europeans for the next 18 years. Then, on January 18, 1788 a fleet of eight ships from Portsmouth, England landed at Botany Bay. On board were 750 convicts sent by King George III and the British Government to colonize Australia. Although conditions were difficult for the "First Fleet" of transported convicts, the settlement was successfully established and named Sydney, after Britain's Lord Sydney, who was responsible for the penal colony. Over the next 90 years, until the system was abolished, 162,000 convicted criminals were shipped to Australia and Tasmania, where they played a vital role in the early stages of colonization. Masonry took some time to get established there. Many whoa att empted to meet were arrested until the 1890s when the gold rush saw 26 lodges established in western Australia By 1900 Grand Lodges had been established in every state except Queensland, where squabbles over jurisdiction delayed the formation of an all-embracing Grand Lodge until 1921. Today, happily, Masonic harmony prevails throughout Australia and the Craft continues a healthy growth. (The learning Kingdom; Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft) Courtesy AMERICAN MASON magazine
Mary Pickford, Movie Star, and The Masonic Way
One of the four founders of United Artists (the other three were Charlie Chaplin, Bro. D.W. Griffith and her husband, Bro. Douglas Fairbanks Sr.), Mary Pickford was a film mogul at the inception of the industry. Starring in dozens of movies spanning the silent era, she became one of the most influential women in Hollywood and a philanthropist whose legacy lives on today. Her film career began in 1913 in 'The Violin Maker of Cremona," and ended 30 years later with United Artists' "Secrets." In between, she appeared in "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," "Pollyanna," and "Tess of the Storm Country" among others. Despite ending her film career, she remained involved in the entertainment industry, and helped establish the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital to provide healthcare for her less fortunate peers. (The Learning Kingdom)
JULY 14 - Bastille Day (France)
The people of Paris in 1789 took over the Bastille, a state prison that symbolized the absolutism of the monarchy of Louis XVI, marking the beginning of the French Revolution. The storm of the prison is known as Bastille Day (“Le Jour de la Bastille”) and is celebrated as the dawn of democracy in France.   According to Arthur Edward Waite’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry the watchwords of Freemasonry in France prior to the French Revolution were Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. These mysteriously became the watchwords of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789. And as Bro. George Washington played a significant role in the design of the American Flag, so did the red, white and blue of that American flag with the help of Bro. Washington’s Major General The Marquis de Lafayette, played a role in the design of the tri-color of the French Revolution; After the capture of The Bastille, Bro. Lafayette “the hero of two worlds” received command over the guard in Paris. For insignia he combined (he said) the colors of the city of Paris, red and blue, with the white of the house of Bourbon. Actually, he said privately, the French tri-color, emblem of the Revolution, originated with an inspiration from Bro. George Washington’s flag design and the AmericanRevolution, according to A History of the Modern World (R. R. Palmer and Joel Colton, 4th edition, Klopf: New York).   Bro. Lafayette was a Mason before coming into the service of Bro. Washington. Bro. Lafayette returned home shortly after the battle of Yorktown. He returned to New York August 15, 1824 with his son whom he had named after the General — George Washington Lafayette. From that time until he returned to France from Alexandria, Virginia, the Lafayette entourage was given heroic reception wherever he went. According to The Commercial Advertiser, Bro. Lafayette on September 11, 1824, escorted by some of his Masonic Brethren, attended a meeting at St. John’s Hall of Jerusalem Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and Morton Encampment of Knights Templar. Morton and Columbian Encampments (now Commanderies) joined forces to fete the Lafayette party On June 17, 1825, Bro. Lafayette assisted in the cornerstone laying of Bunker Hill Monument. An estimated 5,000 Masons marched in the mammoth military, civic and Masonic procession. Bro. Lafayette became an American citizen by Act of Congress. Before he died in 1834, he had expressed expressed a wish to be buried in American soil. .To fulfill his wish a ton of American soil was shipped to france which was placed around his coffin.   At the time of his this death he had been the last surviving general officer of the continental Army. Among the generals of thatwar there were few who enjoyed the complete and enduring confidence of Bro. Washington as did Bro. Lafayette. . Some called it a mystic tie - others that it was as well as a Masonic one. (Source: Volume I, Masonic America, Knights Templar Grand Encampment U.S.A.)
For those who are interested in Masonic recognition issues ---
I've updated the webpages on which I try to keep this information up to date and accurate. The starting webpage is at> From there, you'll find links to other webpages with information on: 1. The standards used by various Grand Lodges in deciding which other Grand Lodges they will recognize. 2. The Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America, particularly when the Commission has written information about each Grand Lodge it has considered. 3. Prince Hall Masonry recognitions details 4. Which U.S. Grand Lodges have recognized which non-U.S. Grand Lodges, in the Western and Eastern hemispheres, with additional webpages under each of these. 5. Which U.S. Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons have recognized which non-U.S. Grand Chapters around the world. If anyone notices any information on these webpages that is not correct, or that needs updating, please let me know. Fraternally, Paul M. Bessel
Bro.. Douglas Fairbanks Sr., (1883-1939) Heped Found United Artists
. In 1916 alone, Bro. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. starred in nearly a dozen successful silent movies. The talented actor, who had made his first film just a year earlier, was commanding the then-enormous salary of about $10,000 a week. Bro. Fairbanks' good looks quickly gained him a loyal following among fans that loved his swashbuckling action films. Among his most notable pictures were "The Mark of Zorro," "The Three Musketeers" (both released in 1921), "Robin Hood" (1921), and "The Thief of Bagdad"(1924). Bro. Fairbanks' career wasn't limited to playing the leading man in early motion pictures. With Charlie Chaplin, Bro. D.W. Griffith and his wife, Mary Pickford, he co-founded United Artists in 1919. Using the pseudonym Elton Thomas, he also wrote a number of scripts for films in which he starred, including "The Black Pirate," "The Iron Mask,"and "The Gaucho." In 1927, Bro. Fairbanks served as the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an organization he had helped found. Bro. Fairbanks was a memveof Beverly Hills Lodge 528, California. Bro. Griffith was a member of St. Cecile Lodge 568, New York City. (The Learning Kindom)
Bro. Matthew Henson, (1866-1955) Co-discoverer of the North PoleNot honored until decades afterward
An African-American born at Charles County, MD a year after the end of the Civil War, Bro. Matthew Henson was one of the first men ever to reach the North Pole. He accomplished this feat in the company of Admiral Bro. Robert Peary, his longtime partner in exploration. Bro. Matthew Henson was orphaned as a youth. At age 12 he served as a cabin boy on the saiiing ship Kathie Hines. He met Bro.Robert E. Peary while working in a Washington, D.C. store in 1888 and was hired to be Peary's valet. He accompanied Peary on his seven subsequent Arctic expeditions. During the succesful 1908-1909 expedition to the North Pole, Bro. Henson and two of the four Eskimo guides reached their destination on April 6, 1909. Bro.Peary arrived minutes later and verifyed the location. Bro. Henson had accompanied Bro. Peary in a number of prior journeys to both Arctic and equatorial regions. An early trip to Nicaragua cemented their relationship, and the two men spent the next two decades in various attempts to chart points in the far north and reach the North Pole. Because he was black, Bro. Henson shared little of the recognition awarded Bro. Peary. Not until decades later was he honored by the Explorers Club in New York. Henson's account of the expedition, "A Negro Explorer at the North Pole" was published in 1912. In addition to the .Congressional Medal awarded all members of the North Pole Expedition, Henson also received the Gold Medal of the Geographical Society of Chicago and, at age 81, was made an honorary member of the Explorers Club in New York, NY.. After his 1955 death, he was buried in an obscure cemetery in North York, but 32 years later his grave was moved to Arlington National Cemetery, beside that of his old companion, Bro. Robert Peary. Bro. Matthew Henson was initiated on Nevember 5, 1904 in Celestial Lodge No. 3 of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York. (The Learning Kingdom. Chase's.)
The Story of the Forget-Me-Not,
As early as the year 1934, soon after Hitler's rise to power, it became apparent that Freemasonry was in danger. In the same year, the German Grand Lodge of the Sun In Bayreuth (one of the pre-war German Grand Lodges), realized the imminent problems fac-ing them and elected to wear a little blue flower, the Forget-Me-Not, in place of the traditional Square & Compasses, as a mark of identity for Masons. It was felt the new symbol would not attract attention from the Nazis, who were in the process of confiscating and appropriating Masonic Lodges and property. Masonry had gone underground and it was neces-sary for the Brethren to have some readily recogniz-able means of identification. Throughout the entire Nazi era, a little blue flower in the lapel marked a Brother. In the concentration Camps and in the cit-ies a Forget-Me-Notdistinguished the lapels of those who refused to allow the light of Masonry to be extinguished. In 1947, when the Grand Lodge of the Sun was reopened in Bayreuth by Past Grand Master Beyer, a little blue pin in the shape of a Forget-Me-Not, was proposed and adopted as the official emblem of the first annual convention of those who survived in the bitter years of semi-darkness, bringing the Light of Masonry once again into the Temples. At the Annual Convention of the United Grand Lodge of Germany, A. F. & A. M., in 1948, the pin was adopted as an official Masonic emblem honoring those valiant Brethren who carried the work on, under adverse conditions. At the Grand Masters Conference in the USA, Dr. Theodor Vogel, the Grand Master of the newly-formed UGL, A.F. & A.M., presented one of the pins to each of the repre-sentatives of the Grand Jurisdictions with which the UGL, A.F. &A.M.; enjoyed Fraternal relations. Thus did a .simple flower blossom forth into a meaningful emblem of the Fraternity and became perhaps the most widely worn pin among Freemasons in Ger-many. Many members of National Sojourners, Inc. have served in the US Armed Forces in Germany and have learned to love and respect "The Forget-Me-Not", and what it stands for. Courtesy National Sojourners, Inc.,Alexandria, Va. with thanks to Leon Zeitounalian, District Grand Master, .District Grand Lodge of Syria & Lebanon

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