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In 1908 Bro. Henry Ford introduced His Model T for $850. While Bro. Ford introduced his "Model; T" for $850, by 1924 he was selling them for as little as $260. Between 1908 and 1927 Bro. Ford sold just over 15-million "Model Ts" in the U.S. Although the first "Model Ts" were not built on the assembly line, the demand for the car got so high that Bro. Ford developed a system where workers remained at their stations and cars came to them. This enabled Bro. Ford's company to turn out a "Model T" every 10 seconds. From 1914 onwards he operated a revolutionary profit-sharing plan for his workers. Bro. Ford was raised in Palestine Lodge 357, Detroit, MI, in 1894.
In 1928 The Philalethes Society was established on this day.
In 1895 Brother Bud Abbott of Abbott and Costello fame was born.
In 1898 Bro. Bud Abbott, radio, stage and screen performer was born at Asbury Park, NJ. He began as a cashier in theaters in 1916 and became famous with the founding of the "Abbott and Costello' comedy team. He was both Mason and Shrine Mason.
In 1967, Bro. Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first black appointed to the nation's highest court. A Prince Hall mason, he had been special counsel for the national Association or the Advancement of Colored People starting in 1938. He has been a director and counselor of the Prince Hall Grand Master's Conference and is a 33º AASR (Prince Hall).
In 1789 Bro. George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving Day as follows:
In 1884 Paul Foster Case was born. Case was initiated into Freemasonry on March 22nd, 1926 in Fairport Lodge No. 476, Fairport, New York. Case was the author of The Masonic Letter G and is believed to have been an author of The Kybalion.
In 1904 Bro. Frederic Auguste Bertholdi, the man who sculpted the Statue of Liberty died.
In 1874 The Grand Lodge of Oklahoma (Indian Territory) was established.
In 1947, in the first televised White House address, President and Bro. Harry S Truman urged Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Sundays. His purpose was to help starving people in other countries.
In 1953, former California Governor Bro. Earl Warren was sworn in as chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. A member of Sequoia Lodge No., 349, Oakland, CA he served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of California from 1935- An active mason he received his 33º Honorary Degree AASR (SJ) on December 23, 1941.
In 1899 John W. Neilson, who served as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Kansas was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in St. John's Lodge No. 113, Concordia, Kansas.
In 1927, the film "The Jazz Singer" starring Bro. Al Jolson opened in New York City. It was the first full-length feature film to include spoken dialogue and is regarded as the first "talkie." The film was based on the short story "The Day of Atonement" by Sampson Raphaelson. American singer and screen actor, Bro. Jolson was noted for his black-face minstrel songs, and achieved fame as the star of the first talking picture. He was a member of St. Cecile Lodge 568, New York City.
In 1949, Bro. Harry S Truman, then US President, signed the Mutual Assistance Defense Act which would give $1.3-billion in military aid to NATO countries. In July the US Senate by a vote of 82 to 13 ratified the North Atlantic Treaty which committed the United States to a mutual defense alliance with 11 other countries, the first time m history that the US had entered into such an agreement in peacetime.
In 1822 Andrew Jackson began his term as Grand Master of Masons of Tennessee. He would hold the position until October 4th, 1824. Jackson was the seventh president of the USA and the 3rd who was a mason.
In 1888 born at Adair County, IA, was Bro. Henry Agard Wallace, who was to become 33rd Vice President of the United States and 1948 candidate for President. Author of many books on agriculture (his father was US Secretary of Agriculture). Bro. Wallace was raised October 4, 1927 in Capital Lodge No. 110, Des Moines, IA, and received the 32º AASR (SJ) at Des Moines on November 23, 1928. He died at Danbury, CT November 18, 1967.
In 1890 was born Bro. Edward V. Rickenbacker, WW One Flying Ace In Columbus, OH. After a stint as an auto racer he became a flyer and during World War One commanded the 94th Hero Pursuit Squadron, becoming America's leading "Ace." He became President of Eastern Airlines after the war but on the outbreak of World War II returned to the military and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross with nine clusters and the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery on special missions. He was a member of Kilwinning Lodge 297 in Detroit, MI. He died July 23, 1973, at Zurich, Switzerland.
In 1934 German carpenter Bruno Richard Hauptmann was indicted for the Kidnap/Murder of Bro. Charles Lindbergh's baby in 1932. He was later convicted of the crime and put to death in the electric chair. Bro. Lindbergh was married to Anne Morrow, the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico Dwight W. Morrow, After the kidnapping and death of their son , the Lindbergh's moved to England. In 1936, Lindbergh collaborated with Alexis Carrel on the invention of a perfusion pump that could maintain organs outside the body. On May 21, 1927,Lindbergh astounded the world by landing in Paris after a solo flight from New York across the Atlantic in The Spirit of St. Louis.
In 1956 the famous print "Steps of Freemasonry," which is actually called the Structure of Freemasonry made its appearance in the pages of Life Magazine. This illustration perhaps more than any other has led to the myth that the so-called higher degrees are the pinnacle of Freemasonry.
Brother Robert Gordon McBeath died In 1922. McBeath was awarded the Victoria Cross for having captured an emplacement of five machine guns. This was during the battle of Somme in Cambrai France in 1917.
In 1886, Griswold Lorillard of Tuxedo Park, NY fashioned the first tuxedo for men, a form of black and white tailored suit and shirt that has long played a significant mode of dress for Masons. Not too well known about the tuxedo is its symbolic adaptation to the black and white "Beau Seant " which served as the banner of the Knights Templar during the Crusades The Templar banner was vertical, divided into two bars or blocks. One was solid black , to symbolize the dark world of sin that the Templars left behind, and one ws pure white, to reflect the pure life of the order The banner's name, "Beau-Seant" was also the Templar battle cry. While today the term "beau" is taken to mean "beautiful," in medieval French it meant a lofty state for which translators have offered such terms as "noble," "glorious," and even "magnificent." As a battle cry, then, "Beau Seant" was a charge to "Be Noble" or "Be Glorious."
In 1911 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was initiated into Freemasonry in Holland Lodge No. 8 of New York City. Roosevelt was the 32nd president and the 12th who was a Freemason.
In 1759 was born in Dumfies, VA, Bro. Mason Locke "Parson" Weems, the traveling bookseller and Episcopal clergyman, who created the fictitious legend about Bro. George Washington cutting down the fabled cherry tree and confessing: "Father,, i cannot tell a lie...etc.,. etc." Most of the Weems stories were distortions offered as fact. But his fictionalized histories were very popular with readers young and old and accepted as true. He was a member of Dumfries Lodge No. 50. Bro. Weems died May 23, 1825 at Beauford, SC.
In 1779, Polish nobleman Bro. Count Casimir Pulaski was killed while fighting for American independence during the Revolutionary War battle in Savannah, Ga. The date of his death has been honored by Presidential proclamation each year from 1929 to 1946, and since then by custom. He was said to have been affiliated with the Army Lodge in the Maryland Line. Casimir Pulaski lodge No. 1167 which meets in Logan Square Masonic Temple, Chicago, IL, is named in his honor. He was buried with Masonic honors by Gould Lodge of Georgia.
In 1804 it was that a resolution was adopted to request the Grand Lodge of Virginia to permit a lodge to change its name. That lodge is now called Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 and holds its meetings in the George Washington Masonic Memorial.
In 1962 The 21st Ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic church was convened by Pope John XXIII. It met in four annual sessions, concluded 8 December 1965. It dealt with the renewal of the Church and introduced sweeping changes, such as the use of the vernacular rather than Latin in the Mass. Of interest to Freemasons of the world, the council reversed the encyclical Humanum Genus , the strong and comprehensive papal condemnation of Freemasonry promulgated in 1884 by Pope Leo XIII.
In 1968,the first staffed Apollo mission, Apollo 7, was launched with astronauts Bro. Walter M. (Wally) Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham aboard. Bro. Schirra, who had been made a "Mason at Sight" by the Grand Master of Masons of Florida, carried several Masonic items with him on his Apollo 7 flight. Bro. Schirrer also was the command pilot on the history-making Gemini 6 flight which made a rendezvous with the already orbiting Gemini 7 spacecraft, the first rendezvous of two manned, maneuverable spacecraft.
In 1492 (Sir Knight) Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas which he christened San Salvador in the name of Spain. Columbus was a member of the Knights of Christ Order which formed after the dissolution of the Knights Templar Order by King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V. Those Templars who escaped Philip's wrath spread throughout Europe and became fugitives who developed the signs, passwords and recognitions which are the underpinnings of today's Freemasonry. Those who went to Spain formed the Knights of Christ of which Columbus was a member.
In 1905 the Grand Lodge of Alberta was constituted.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon nominated Rep. and Bro. Gerald R. Ford, (R-Mich.) the House Minority Leader, for the Vice Presidency to replace Spiro Agnew, who'd resigned in disgrace two days earlier. Bro. Ford became the nation's 38th President in 1974 when President Nixon himself resigned in disgrace. Bro. Ford was initiated and passed in Malta Lodge at Grand Rapids, MI, on September 30, 1949. He was raised May 18, 1951 in Columbia Lodge No. 3, Washington, DC as a courtesy to Malta Lodge. In 1974 he was awarded the Distinguished Achievements Medal. And in 1977 the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of District of Columbia presented him with the Grand Master's Award.
In 1307, King Philip IV arrested 15,000 Knights Templar at dawn. As the Templars planned a new Crusade against the infidel, King Philip IV of France was planning his own private crusade against the Templars. He longed to be rid of his massive debts to the Templar order, which had used its wealth to establish a major banking operation. Philip wanted the Templar treasure to finance his continental wars against Edward I of England. When word arrived on Cyprus that the new pope would mount a Crusade, the Knights Templar thought that their time of restoration to glory was at hand. Summoned to France, their aging grand master, Jacques DeMolay, went armed with elaborate plans for the rescue of Jerusalem. In Paris, he was humored and honored until the fatal day. At dawn on Friday, the thirteenth of October, 1307, every Templar in France was arrested and put in chains on Philip's orders. Their hideous torture for confessions of heresy began immediately. And ended several years later with the slow roasting to death of Grand Master Jacques DeMolay on the steps of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Under Philip's orders Pope Clement V, literally under house arrest at Avignon, dissolved the Order making the Knights who managed to escape fugitives- literally men without country or religion, and forced to develop secret recognition signals and grips which were to become the traditional underpinnings of Freemasonry. The Templar order was founded in Jerusalem in 1118, in the aftermath of the First Crusade. Its name came from the location of its first headquarters on the site of the ancient Temple of Solomon. Helping to fill a desperate need for a standing army in the Holy Land, the Knights of the Temple soon grew in numbers, in wealth, and in political power. They also grew in arrogance, and their Grand Master de Ridfort was a key figure in the mistakes that led to the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. The Latin Christians managed to hold onto a narrow strip of territory along the coast, where the Templars were among the largest owners of the land and fortifications.
In 1775 the Second Continental Congress of the United Colonies of North America issued orders that a fleet be fitted out in Delaware Bay to challenge the might of the most powerful navy in the world, the British. Esek Hopkins was given command of this tiny fleet, his flagship the Alfred, formerly a solid Philadelphia merchant man named Black Prince. Once Commodore Hopkins was piped aboard he ordered his first lieutenant Bro. John Paul Jones to raise the new banner, The Grand Union Flag, for the first time. Bro. Jones, who went on to an illustrious, adventurous career, died July 18, 1792. His body is interred at the Annapolis Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.
In 1793, Freemasons laid the cornerstone of The White House. Hugh Sidey writing in the October 2000 issue of TIME magazine claims that mystery still lingers over where the Freemasons laid the cornerstone back in 1792. "There is no doubt," writes Sidey, "that on the afternoon of October 13, 1792, a group of Freemasons marched from Georgetown to the site of what is now The White House and laid a cornerstone. That evening, though, by about the 11th toast - this one to "the fair daughters of Americas" the congenial gathering of Freemasons at Georgetown's Fountain Inn had begun to grow a bit hazy about where they had laid that particular stone earlier in the day." Among the most important and exalted buildings to Americans is the White House, home and office to residents, symbol of liberty to the world, is getting all polished up for the 200th commemoration of the day (Nov l) President John Adams moved into the brand new edifice. But even now we're not sure where those jovial Masons put the cornerstone." The cornerstone, fitted with a brass plate naming those participants in the cornerstone laying, is supposed to be on the northeast corner, according to Masonic tradition. But dowsers, short-wave probes, and Anonymous letters seem to indicate the problem cornerstone is on the southwest corner.
In 1912, just after a gunman's bullet lodged in his chest during a campaign visit to Milwaukee, WI, Bro. Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt stood for 80 minutes to deliver the message of his Progressive "Bull Moose" Party. "Friends," he said upon reaching the podium, " I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don't know whether you fully understand that I have been shot. But,. you see, it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. Bro. Roosevelt recovered, largely because the bullet was slowed by an overcoat, a glasses case, and a folded manuscript of his speech. Would be-assassin John Chrank was taken into custody. Bro. Roosevelt was raised at Matinecck Lodge 806 at Oyster Bay, NY and made an honorary member of Pentalpha Lodge23 at Washington, D.C., where he took part in numerous Masonic activities.
In 1989 the Grand Lodge of Connecticut recognized the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Connecticut, becoming the first Grand Lodge in North America to do so.
In 1794 The Grand Lodge of Vermont was established.
In 1939, New York City Mayor and Bro. Fiorello (the Little Flower) LaGuardia dedicated New York LaGuardia Airport as a crowd of 350,000 there cheered. Bro. LaGuardia was raised in New York City's Garibaldi Lodge No. 542 in 1913, and was made a Life Member of that famous Lodge on October 17, 1933. He died September 20, 1947.
In 1800 the Grand Lodge of Kentucky was formed.
In 1854 Irish Poet and Playwright Bro. Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin. His full name at birth was Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde. At the height of his career he was imprisoned for two years on a morals offense, during which he wrote "A Ballad of Reading Gaol." Best known of his plays is "The importance of Being Earnest." Another, "Lady Windemere's Fan." He wrote in his movie, "the Picture of Dorian Grey," that "there is only one thing worse than being talked about, and hat is not being talked about." He died at Paris, France, November 30, 1900. His dying words were: "This wallpaper is killing me. One of us has got to go." Bro. Wilde was initiated into Apollo Lodge 357, Oxford, England, in 1875.
In 1859, abolitionist and Bro. John Brown led a group of about 20 men in a raid on the government arsenals at Harper's Ferry. VA. The aim was to trigger an insurrection of slaves. He was overpowered and convicted of treasons and hanged December 2, 1859. Bro. Brown was raised in Hudson Lodge No. 68, Hudson, OH on May 11, 1824, serving as Junior Deacon 1825-26. He later renounced Freemasonry and became anti-Masonic. though his son, John Brown, Jr. became a Freemason who, when he died, was buried with Masonic honors.
In 1901 Bro. Booker T. Washington, African-American educator and Prince Hall Mason, dined at the White House as guest of US President and Bro. Theodore Roosevelt. The invitation to the educator sparked a controversy which Bro. Roosevelt ignored. Author of many books on slavery and being Black in America, Bro. Washington was made a Mason "at sight" by the Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He died November 14,1915.
In 1959, Bro. George C. Marshall, distinguished American General and Cabinet member, died and was later buried in Arlington National Cemetery. General George C. Marshall Lodge #55 (consecrated 2001) in Washington, DC. this year on Tuesday at 4 pm begins what will be an annual wreath laying at Bro. Marshall's gravesite. His was a distinguished career: General of the Army; US Secretary of State; US Secretary of Defense; Ambassador to China; author of the Marshall Plan for European Recovery, and winner of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize along with many other honors. Bro. Marshall was made a Mason "at sight" by Bro. Ara M. Daniels, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of District of Columbia, in the Scottish Rite Cathedral of the District, on December 16,1941.
In 1777, British Gen. Borgoyne surrendered his Army to Gen. Gates at Saratoga. And thus triggered a conspiracy to oust Bro. and General George Washington as head of the American armies. Borgoyne's surrender to Gates held many embarrassments for Bro. Washington. Gates refused Borgoyne's sword and allowed all the surrendered British soldiers to march out of the camp (without arms) and be given free passage home to England. When Borgoyne presented himself to Gates to surrender he said: "The fortunes of war, General Gates, has made me your prisoner.." To which Gates replied: I shall always be ready to bear testimony that it has not been through any fault of Your Excellency . Commander in Chief Bro. Washington, who had recently suffered a series of defeats, said the victory "surpassed our most sanguine expectations." And fellow officers began to speculate that Gates might replace Bro. Washington as Commander in Chief. It was General Thomas Conway who suggested Washington seemed an incompetent who should be replaced by General Gates. Several high-ranking congressional officials and military officers were among supporters of the Conway plan. The plot was abandoned after Bro. Washington boldly confronted the conspirators and one of the general's aides wounded Conway gravely in a duel.
In 1901, Bro. Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order changing the name of the "Executive Mansion" to the "White House."
In 1919, Bro. David Sarnoff created the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). All of Bro. David Sarnoff's life was spent in the radio industry, first with the Marconi Company and then with the Radio Corporation of America, of which he became President at age 39. Bro. Sarnoff became known as "The Father of American Television." He entered Freemasonry in 1921 at New York City's Strict Observance Lodge 94.
In 1867, US President and Bro. Andrew Johnson took possession of Alaska from Russia as a Territory of the United States. Bro. Johnson's administration led by Secretary of the Interior William Seward for several years had urged a reluctant Congress to acquire the vast acreage in the Far North being offered the nation for a mere $7-million. Bro. Johnson and Steward stuck to their guns despite congressional opposition to what at the time had laughingly been referred to as: :Wallrussia,", " Seward's Folly,""Seward's Icebox," "Polaria," and "Icebergia." A single Congressional vote to spare on April 9 made possible the purchase at two cents an acre of a vast territory rich in mines, waters, furs and fisheries, in the words of Bro. Cassius M. Clay, US Ambassador to Russia, "of untold value, so much so that future generations will wonder that we ever got it at all."
In 1898, US President and Bro. William McKinley ordered the American flag raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control. The Island of Puerto Rico had surrendered to the American Army on July 28. In fact, the Island had surrendered more than once. The inhabitants were so happy to see the "Yanquis" take over that every island official tried to surrender a hamlet or village to be listed as having done so. "There was so little actual fighting," said one officer. "that when the order came to suspend hostilities there was nothing to suspend."
In 1911 the Corner Stone laid in the Construction of the Scottish Rite SJ house of the Temple in Washington.
In 1922 the comic character, "Little Orphan Annie" first appeared. Annie was created by Brother Harold Gray.
In 1957, Spaghetti-western actor Wayde Preston starred in this ABC western as Christopher Colt, son of Bro. Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt .45, and a government agent. Bro. Colt's first patent for revolving firearms was taken out in 1835 when he was only 21 years old. The various Colt revolvers that evolved played an important role in the westward expansion of the U.S. and have become part of the folklore of the "Wild West." Bro. Colt's Masonic activities were centered on Hartford, Ct. He was a member of St. John's Lodge No. 4 there, Pythagoras Chapter No. 17 (RAM), and Washington Commandery No. 1. He died January 10. 1862.
In 1781 more than 7,000 English and Hessian troops led by British General Lord Cornwallis surrendered to Bro. and General George Washington at Yorktown, VA, effectively ending the war between Britain and her American colonies. There were no more major battles but the provisional treaty of peace was not signed until November 30, 1782, and the final Treaty of Paris, September 3, 1783.
In 1945 Harry S. Truman was given his 33rd Degree. He was exemplar for his class.
In 1950, United Nations forces led by US General and Bro. Walton Walker's 8th Army crossed the 38th Parallel and entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. They entered under direct orders of US President and Bro. Harry S Truman and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, thus revising the original goal of simply defending the South Koreans from North Korean/Communist takeover. The new phase, proposed September 29 by US General and Bro. Douglas MacArthur, sought to conquer North Korea and unify both Koreas under a pro-western government. The strategy would end in Bro. MacArthur's being relieved of command.. Bro. Walker was a member of Belton Lodge No. 166, Belton, TX. He was also a Knight Templar, Shrine Mason and held a 32º in the Scottish Rite (SJ) at Galveston, TX. Bro. Walker died in Korea on December 23, 1950. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1803 the US Senate in a 24 to 7 vote approved purchase from France of the Louisiana Territory for $15-million,. Bro. James Monroe of Virginia is credited with swinging the deal that more than doubled the size of the United States of America. On a hunch President Thomas Jefferson sent Bro. Monroe to France to ask Emperor Napoleon if he'd be willing to sell America the Port of New Orleans. To Bro. Monroe's surprise, Napoleon told Monroe he would sell American the whole of the Louisiana Territory for 80,000 francs - a mere $15-million. Bro. Monroe's party of diplomats were flabbergasted. And while not authorized by President Jefferson to conclude a purchase they accepted the offer, signed the cession document and sent it to Jefferson on April 30. Considerable and heated debate ensued. But Jefferson, who was determined to take advantage of the great opportunity, pressed for the purchase. He sent the Louisiana Purchase Treaty to the Senate on October 20. On the next day a postal rider set out for New Orleans with instructions and documents necessary for carrying out the historic transfer. Bro. William C.C. Claiborne took possession as US Commissioner with Bro. James Wilkinson.
In 1920 The Order of Job’s Daughters, founded in Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1953 The Grand Lodge of the state of Israel was constituted.
In 1805, Viscount and Bro. Horatio Nelson died in the Battle of Trafalgar. This famous naval action between the British Royal Navy and the combined French and Spanish fleets removed the threat of Napoleon's invasion of England.
In 1829, Brother Sam Houston was made a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was latterly received in Washington DC as the ambassador of the Cherokee Nation by his Masonic Brother, Andrew Jackson.
In 1845 was born at Hudson, MI, Bro. and poet Will Carleton, best known for his "Over the Hill to the Poorhouse..." Bro. Carleton's anniversary is celebrated in Michigan to this day by statue wherein his poems must be read aloud in public schools. A working newspaperman and editor, he ended his career in Brooklyn, NY as Editor of the monthly magazine, "Everywhere." He died December 18, 1912.
In 1811, born at Raiding, Hungary, was Bro. Franz von Liszt who was to go on to achieve musical fame as pianist virtuoso and composer (Hungarian Rhapsody). A star on the concert stage from 1822 to 1848, he was initiated in the Lodge Zur Einigkeit at Frankfort-on-the-Main, September 18 1841. He received the first and second degrees in the Lodge Zur Eintracht in Berlin in February of the following year. He suddenly withdrew from public concerts to live with Comptesse d'Agou by whom he had three children. In 1848 he settled at Weimer with the Princess Sayne-Wittgenstein and devoted himself to composition, writing and conducting court concerts. In 1861 he left the Princess and went to Rome where he became a member of the Catholic Franciscan Order. Known as Abbe Liszt he passed the remainder of his life between Rome and Weimer writing symphonies, oratorios, rhapsodies and piano pieces. He died July 31, 1886 at Bayreuth, Germany.
In 1836 Bro. and General Sam Houston was sworn in as the first President of the new Republic of Texas. He was originally from Tennessee. A colorful character, Bro. Houston lived with the Indians for several years after leaving the governor's Mansion in Tennessee. While with the Indians in Arkansas he took a Squaw for his bride and, some say, drank about a barrel of whiskey a day. His Indian friends called him "The Raven." Later, Bro. Houston migrated to Texas where he became commanding general of an army during the revolution there. His defeat of Mexican General Santa Anna won independence for Texas. In the election, his principle opponent was Bro. Stephen F. Austin, called "The Father of Texas." Bro. Houston received about 80 percent of the votes. Bro. Houston was an old frontier friend of Bro. and President Andrew Jackson who promised Houston he would try to get Congress to admit Texas to the union. Bro. Houston was initiated at Cumberland Lodge 8, in Nashville, TN in 1817. Bro. Austin was initiated into Louisiana Lodge 109 at Sainte Genevieve, Missouri, in 1815. Bro. Jackson, the seventh President of the U.S., received the three Craft degrees at Harmony Lodge 1 at Nashville, TN. He became Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Tennessee in October , 1822, and served to October , 1824. Bro. Jackson was also a Royal Arch Mason.
In 1926, Bro. Harry Houdini was caught off guard by punch in the stomach from a medical student in Montreal. The student had asked Houdini if he could test the magician's abdominal muscle control. This punch would ultimately be his downfall.
In 1835 at Christian County, KY, was born Bro. Adlai Ewing Stevenson, the Mason who was to become the nation's 23rd Vice President and Grandfather of Adlai E. Stevenson, one-time Governor of Illinois and Democratic candidate for President in 1952 and 1956. The Grandson was not a Mason. Bro. Stevenson received the degrees at Metamora Lodge No. 82, Metamora, IL (now extinct) sometime in 1858. He became Master of that Lodge in 1862. He later affiliated with Bloomington Lodge No.43, Bloomington, IL and became Master there in 1874. His was an active Masonic career participating in the work of many Masonry related bodies. He died June 15, 1914.
In 1946, thanks to Bro. Harry S Truman, the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York for the first time. The United Nations (UN), international organization established immediately after World War II. replaced the failed League of Nations. One reason the League of Nations failed was the refusal of the United States to join. US President and Bro. Truman ensured this mistake would not be repeated. "We had sponsored and helped establish the United Nations Organization," he said, in signing the UN Charter for the United States. "hoping to prevent the too often recurring plague of humanity - war." When the UN was founded, there were 51 members; 188 nations are now members of the organization.
In 1976 Ill. Bro. Trent Lott received his 32nd Degree. He latterly went on to receive the 33rd degree in 1987.
In 1307 Jacques DeMolay succumbs to torture and makes his confessions. He would later recant his confessions and be burned at the stake for doing so.
In 1861, the wold's first transcontinental telegraph message was sent as Bro. Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to President Abraham Lincoln. Bro. Field was the last Justice appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Lincoln and his decisions were important to the development of constitutional law. He was a member of Corinthian Lodge No. 9 (formerly Laverly Lodge) at Marysville, CA, and in 1866 was made a Life Member for his liberal donations to the Lodge. He died April 9, 1899.
In 1938: Bro. FDR's 40-hour Workweek, The Fair Labor Standards Act, went into effect in the U.S. A landmark in American social legislation, the FLSA provided for a 40-hour maximum workweek, a 40-cent-an-hour minimum wage, and a minimum working age of 16 for most industries. The FLSA was an important part of Bro. and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" program to counter the effects of the Great Depression.
In 1760, George III succeeded his late grandfather, George II as King of Great Britain and Ireland. Though he was not a Freemason - his early ascension to the throne at age 22 prevented him from joining the Craft - most members of his immediate Royal family were. His father, Frederick, Prince of Wales, was initiated in 1737. His younger brother, Prince William Frederick of Gloucester, was initiated in Britannic Lodge in 1795. Six of his seven sons as well as his nephew and son-in-law were Masons. His six Masonic sons were George, Prince of Wales (later George IV and Grand Master), initiated in 1787; Prince William Henry, later King William IV, in Prince George Lodge 86 at Plymouth; the Duke of York , in Britannic Lodge No. 29, London, in 1787; Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, in Lodge Union des Coeurs, Geneva; Prince Ernest, later Duke of Cumberland and King of Hanover, at the House of the Earl of Moira in 1796, and Prince Augustus William, Duke of Sussex, and Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, at the Royal York Lodge of Friendship in Berlin in 1798. The only non-Mason son was Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
In 1854 John Yarker was initiated in Liberty Lodge No. 189. Yarker was an instrumental figure in the Ancient and Primitive Rite and had been expelled from the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
In 1774 Bros. George Washington, Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin were among 56 delegates who had attended a congress of colonial leaders to affirm the colonies rights to "life, liberty and property." Delegates from 12 colonies had convened at Carpenter's Hall on September 5 leading to a resounding passage of Declarations and Resolves on October 14, a sweeping condemnation of British interference in American internal affairs Its 10 resolutions granted colonial assemblies the right to enact legislation and taxes. Despite their differences , all present expounded points of view that began to sound very American. It was Bro. Patrick Henry who said: "The distinctions between New Englanders and Virginians are no more. I am not a Virginian, I am an American."
In 1786 Robbie burns was made an honorary member of St. John Lodge No. 22, Kilmarnock.
In 1825, after eight years of construction, an artificial waterway was opened across New York state linking Lake Erie and the Hudson River. 363 miles long, 40 feet wide, and 4 feet deep, the Erie Canal was a major engineering achievement. It also had great economic and social consequences. By allowing easy transportation to land west of the Appalachian Mountains, it opened the eastern market to farm products from the Middle West, encouraged westward immigration, helped create many large cities, and made New York City into America's leading port and commercial city. GOVERNOR DEWITT CLINTON'S DREAM "As a bond of union between the Atlantic and Western states," Bro. DeWitt Clinton wrote, " it may prevent the dismemberment of the American Empire. As an organ of communication between the Hudson, the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes of the north and west and their tributary rivers, it will create the greatest inland trade ever witnessed. The most fertile and extensive regions of America will avail themselves of its facilities for a market. All their surplus productions, whether of the soil, the forest, the mines, or the water, their fabrics of art and their supplies of foreign commodities, will concentrate in the city of New York, for transportation abroad or consumption at home. Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, trade, navigation, and , the arts will receive a correspondent encouragement. The city will, in the course of time, become the granary of the world, the emporium of commerce, the seat of manufactures, the focus of great moneyed operations and the concentrating point of vast disposable, and accumulating capita, which will stimulate, enliven, extend and reward the exertions of human labor and ingenuity, in all their processes and exhibitions. And before the revolution of a century, the whole island of Manhattan, covered with inhabitants and replenished with a dense population, will constitute one vast city." Such was Bro. Clinton’s dream concerning the original Erie Canal—the canal which seems so small to us not but which was the Grand Canal of our forefathers—the canal which for many years was the model for canal-building throughout the world—the canal which more than any other single agency was responsible for the unprecedented development and prosperity that came not alone to New York State but to the states beyond its western border and even to the whole country in the first half of the nineteenth century. When Bro. Clinton wrote these words they seemed to many as the vain imaginings of a most visionary dreamer. But the dream came true, and every loyal New Yorker has reason to feel pride in that the canals have done for his State. Every Freemason as well.
In 1863, the worldwide Red Cross was organized in Geneva, Switzerland. The creation of the Red Cross was spurred by the publication of Un Souvenir de Solférino (1862). This was an account by Bro. Jean Henri Dunant of the Battle's 50,000 casualties and the suffering endured by the wounded at the 1849 Battle of Solferino in northern Italy. Bro. Dunant, a Swiss citizen, urged the formation of voluntary aid societies for relief of such war victims. He also asked that service to military sick and wounded be neutral. The Société genovoise d'Utilité publique, a Swiss welfare agency, actively seconded Bro. Dunant's suggestion. The outcome was the formation of the organization that became known as the Red Cross. The next year, delegates from 16 nations met in Switzerland, and the Geneva Convention of 1864 for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field was adopted and signed by 12 of the nations represented. It provided for the neutrality of the medical personnel of armed forces, the humane treatment of the wounded, the neutrality of civilians who voluntarily assisted them, and the use of an international emblem to mark medical personnel and supplies. In honor of Bro. Dunant's nationality, a red cross on a white background was chosen as this symbol. This is the Swiss flag with colors reversed. The original Geneva Convention, its subsequent revisions, and allied treaties such as the Hague Convention for naval forces and the Prisoner of War Convention have been signed (although not always ratified) by almost all countries and their dependencies. In 1901 Bro. Dunant shared the first Nobel Peace Prize with Frederick Passey. Dunant devoted his fortune to charity and charitable works. The International Committee of the Red Cross was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1917.
In 1858 in New York was born the man who was to become the 26th President of the United States, succeeding to the presidency on the death of Bro. William McKinley. His term of office began on September 14, 1901 and ended March 3, 1909. Bro. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to ride in an automobile (1902), the first to submerge in a submarine (1905) and to fly in an airplane (1910). He is best remembered for the quote: "Speak softly but carry a big stick." But he also said: "The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight." Bro. Roosevelt was initiated January 2, 1801,. passed March 27, and raised April 24 the same year at Matinecock Lodge 806 at Oyster Bay, NY. He was made an honorary member of Pentalpha Lodge 23 at Washington, DC where he took an active part in many Masonic activities. He died at Oyster Bay, NY on January 6, 1919. His last words were: "Put out the light."
In 1807 Joseph Cerneau established The "Sovereign Grand Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, Supreme Chiefs of Exalted Masonry, according to the Ancient Constitutional Scottish Rite of Heredom, for the United States of America its territories and dependencies," a clandestine version of Scottish Rite. It was denounced by the Supreme Council in Charlotte, South Carolina.
In 1886 Bro. Frederic August Bartholdi dedicated his famous 305-ft-high sculpture, the statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. US President Grover Cleveland officiated. Ground-breaking for the structure began in April, 1883. A sonnet by Emma Lazarus, inside the pedestal of the statue, contains the words: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss to me, I lift my lamp besides the golden door!" The statue was a gift from France to the United States .On 28 October 1936, US President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt rededicated the Statue on its 50th Anniversary.
In 1740 at Edinburgh, Scotland , was born Scottish biographer Bro. James Boswell famed for his writing of "Life of Samuel Johnson," a monumental biography of Dr. and Bro. Samuel Johnson. "I think " he wrote in the work, "no innocent species of wit or pleasantry should be suppressed: and that a good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation." Bro. Boswell was raised in Canongate-Kilwinning Lodge, Edinburgh, on October 14, 1759, and served as Master of that Lodge in 1773-75, and Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland from 1776-78. In February, 1777, he was made an Honorary member of Lodge of Edinburgh No. 1. He died May 19, 1795 at London, England. Some doubt exists regarding Bro. Johnson's Masonic background but, as Mackay says, " the probabilities in favor of his having been one are much weightier than the probability against." He probably was a member of Old Dundee Lodge No. 18 (formerly No. 9) at Wapping, London. He is recorded as having been raised July 9, 1767.
In 1998, Bro. John Glenn, at age 77, roared back into space aboard the shuttle Discovery. He thus retraced the trail he'd blazed for America's astronauts 36 years earlier. That was on February 20,. 1962 when he circled the earth three times in five hours on the spaceship Friendship 7. He won election to the US Senate from Ohio in 1974, and was re-elected in 1980 and 1986. He is a member of Concord Lodge No. 688, Concord, OH.
In 1937 Lyndon B. Johnson was initiated in Johnson City Lodge No. 561 in Texas. Johnson never went past the Entered Apprentice Degree.
Thomas Smith Webb was born (d. July 6, 1819); author of Freemason’s Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry, the foundational text of the York Rite American system of Freemasonry and the Founding Father of the York or American Rite.
In 1926, Bro. Harry Houdini, Magician and Escape Artist , died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix., An escape artist whose stage performances were legendary, his books on conjuring were widely acclaimed. He was made a Mason in 1923, in St. Cecile Lodge 568, New York City.
In 1941 the faces of Bro. George Washington, Bro. Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln began to look over the Black Hills of South Dakota unencumbered by scaffolding and laborers. Unhappily, its designer, sculptor Bro. John Guzon de la Mothe Borglum died on March 6, at age 71, leaving the project to be completed by his son, Bro. Lincoln Borglum. An active Mason, Bro. Borglum was raised in Howard Lodge 35 in New York City on June 10, 1904, and served as its Master in 1910-11. There is a colossal marble head of Lincoln by Borglum in the rotunda of the Capitol of Washington, DC. His son, Bro. Lincoln Borglum was raised in Battle River Lodge 92 at Hermosa, South Dakota.
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