The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...




In 1932, 20-month-old Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., the son of Bro. Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was kidnapped from their home at Hopewell, NJ. Even though the Lindberghs paid a $50,000 ransom, their child's body was found in a wooded area less than five miles from the family home on May 12. As a result of the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, the Crime Control Act was passed on May 18, 1934. It authorized the death penalty for kidnappers who take their victims across state lines.


In 1793 was born at Rockbridge County, VA, Bro. Sam Houston, American soldier and politician, remembered for his role in Texas history. Bro. Houston went to Texas in 1832 to become Commander of the Texan Army in the war for Texan independence, which was secured when Bro. Houston routed the much larger Mexican forces led by Gen. Santa Ana, April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto, and became first President of the Republic of Texas. After Texas' admission to the Union, Bro. Houston served as US Senator and later as Governor of the state. He was deposed in 1861 when he refused to swear allegiance to the Confederacy. The city of Houston, TX was named after him. Bro. Houston was initiated in Cumberland Lodge No. 8, Nashville, TN, in 1817.

In 1899, Bro. and US President William McKinley dedicated Mount Rainer National Park in the Cascades Mountains of Washington State. Mount Rainer is the fourth oldest national park.


In 1831, born at Brocton, NY was Bro. George Mortimer Pullman , inventor and industrialist, who became famous for his design and production of the "Pullman" railroad sleeping car. He secured patents for an upper sleeping berth in 1864, another for a lower sleeping berth in 1865. By 1867 Pullman and his partner had organized the Pullman Palace Car Company which became the greatest railroad-car building organization in the world. Bro.Pullman died October 19, 1897 in Chicago, IL. Bro. Pullman was a member of Renovation Lodge 97 in Albion, NY.

In 1895 was born at Fort Monroe, VA Bro. Matthew Bunker Ridgeway, distinguished U.S. Army officer. As a Major General Ridgeway commanded the newly formed 82nd Airborne Division in the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, and in the invasion of the Italian mainland in 1944, Bro. and General Ridgeway replaced Bro. Douglas MacArthur as commander of the 8th Army in Korea in 1951, and succeeded General Dwight Einsehower in 1952 as Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He became US Army Chief of Staff in 1953. Bro. Matthew Ridgway was a member of West Point #877, Highland Falls, NY,raised May 1, 1924.In September 1974 a communication was received informing that regrettably Bro. Ridgway could not be in attendance for receiving his 50 year pin." Bro. Ridgeway died at Fox Chapel, PA July 26, 1993.

In 1931, Bro. Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially adopted as the National Anthem of the United States. It has been called "the most difficult national anthem on Earth to sing." Bro. Key wrote the anthem on September 14, 1814, while a prisoner aboard a British man-of-war shelling Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Immediately popular, it remained just one of several patriotic airs until it was finally adopted as our national anthem on March 3, 1931. But the actual words were not included in the legal documents. Key himself had written several versions with slight variations so discrepancies in the exact wording still occur. The flag, our beloved Star-Spangled Banner, went on view ,for the first time after flying over Fort McHenry, on January 1st,1876 at the Old State House in Philadelphia for the nations' Centennial celebration. It now resides in the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History. An opaque curtain shields the now fragile flag from light and dust. The flag is exposed for viewing for a few moments once every hour during museum hours. Francis Scott Key was a witness to the last enemy fire to fall on Fort McHenry. The Fort was designed by a Frenchman named Jean Foncin and was named for then Secretary of war James McHenry. Fort McHenry holds the unique designation of national monument and historic shrine. Since May 30th, 1949 the flag has flown continuously, by a Joint Resolution of Congress, over the monument marking the site of Francis Scott Key's birthplace, Terra Rubra Farm, Carroll County, Keymar, Maryland.


In 1789, the first Congress of the US met in New York City wherein electral votes were counted and Bro. George Washington was declared first President (69 votes), and John Adams,. Vice President (34 votes). While Bro. Washington's term of office began on this day, because there was no quorum, he could not take the oath of office until April 30. All subsequent presidential terms (except successions following the death of a President) began March 4 until after Bo. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's second term wherein the 20th Amendment to the Consitution ruled that " the terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th of January..and the terms of their successors shall then begin..."

In 1829, people of every color, age, size and shape mobbed the first floor of the White House to celebrate the inauguration of "their" President, Bro. Andrew Jackson. The Inauguration ritual was calmer. Bro. Jackson called in his speech for a "just and liberal policy:" towards the indians, and "an invigoration of the public morals." Bro. Jackson's election victory and his inauguration spelled the end to the anti Masonic forces in America which had fought to keep him out of office and which had darkened more than half the Masonic temples in America. America's seventh President had been Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, an Honorary member of Federal Lodge No. 1 at Washington, DC, and a member of the Royal Arch Masons.

In 1984, Bro., David Sarnoff - Russian-born American broadcasting executive, was among the first to be inducted into Television's Hall of Fame. He started as an office worker with Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, which was later absorbed by the Radio Corporation of America. Rising to the top ranks of RCA by age 39, he organized the National Broadcasting Company, the first permanent broadcasting network, as part of RCA where he became known as "The Father of American Television:" Bro. Sarnoff was raised at Strict Observance Lodge No. 94 in New York City in 1921. Other inductees to the Hall of Fame wih Bro. Sarnoff were Edward R. Morrow, William S.Paley of CBS, Lucille Ball, Milton Berle and writer Paddy Chayevsky ("Marty"). Brother Brig. General David Sarnoff was also the recipient of the highest honor which can be conferred on a Mason by the Grand Lodge of New York ... in 1955 he was presented with the Grand Lodge Distinguished Achievement Medal.


In 1933, on his first full day in office, President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed a national "Bank Holiday" to help save the nation's faltering banking system. Most banks were able to reopen after the 10-day "Holiday" (March 4-14). In he meantime, "script" had temporarily replaced money in many american households.

In 1946, Bro. Winston Churchill, speaking at Westminster College Fulton, MO, established the Cold War boundary with these words: "From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent." Though Bro. Churchill was not the first to use the phrase iron curtain, his speech gave it a new currency and its usage persisted.


In 1775 a man named Prince Hall and 14 other men of color were initiated into Freemasonry. This work was conducted by Sergeant John Batt of the Irish Militia Lodge No 441, attached to the 38th Foot of the British army When the 38th Foot left Boston in the colony of Massachusetts three weeks later, Batt gave them a "Permet" which allowed them "to walk on St. John's Day" and "to bury their dead in manner and form." African Lodge No. 1 was born on July 3, 1775. In 1847 the African (or national) Grand lodge became Prince Hall Grand Lodge honoring the first Master of African Lodge. Since then many Prince Hall Masons have honored Prince hall as well as "Blue" Lodge Masonry and continue to do so as more and more Grand Lodge Jurisdictions world wide grant them recognition. . The United Grand Lodge of England took a giant and historic step forward on December 14, 1994 when it resolved that "the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts should now be accepted as regular and recognized." The first Grand Lodge to recognize the Prince Hall Grand Lodge within their jurisdiction was the Grand Lodge of CT. Since that time 31 other Grand Lodges in the USA have accorded various types of recognition to the local Prince Hall Grand Lodges, the latest being Virginia.

The most famous battle of the Texas Revolution came about in San Antonio at a little mission called the Alamo. On March 6, 1836, one hundred and eighty-seven men under the command of Brother William Barrett Travis were defeated by several thousand Mexican soldiers under Santa Anna. Americans and Texans alike were so enraged by this massacre that the Alamo, like the United States flag and the Statue of Liberty, became another symbol of courage and freedom. On July 4, 1976, the Grand Lodge of Texas placed a bronze marker at the Alamo, honoring the Masons who died there: "Honoring These Masons James Bonham James Bowie David Crockett Almaron Dickenson William Barrett Travis And Those Unidentified Masons Who Gave Their Lives in the Battle of the Alamo, March 6, 1836"


In 1849 at Lancaster, MA was born Bro. Luther Burbank, American naturalist, author, creator and developer of many new varieties of flowers, fruits, vegetables and trees. His experiments on plants led to the blight-resistent Burbank potato, and over a 50-year period his experimental farm at Santa Rosa, CA produced a remarkable range of new fruit and flower varieties. His birthday is observed by some as Bird and Arbor Day. Bro. Burbank was raised at Santa Rosa Lodge No. 57 in 1921. He died at Santa Rosa April 11, 1926.


In 1855, A train called "London" made the first worldwide crossing over a railway suspension bridge at Niagara Falls on the U.S.-Canadian border. The suspension bridge was designed by Bro. John A. Roebling, who later later became famous for his bridge designs with his building of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Roebling died during its construction and never saw its completion. One of the piers for it is still standing in Niagara Falls, NY. Few in the Niagara Falls is aware that it is there. There is a newer bridge standing there now, still with railroad and vehicles service on it. That part of Niagara Falls was called the Port of Niagara Falls, and Grand Master Benjamin Flagler use to work the customs post there. The area was also known as Suspension Bridge and was so until it merged with Niagara Falls, in 1893. Niagara River Lodge was the local Lodge for that area, and had its Charter handed to it by Grand Master Flagler in 1882 who was the Installing Master for the new Lodge. Bro. Flagler was a Past Master of Niagara Frontier 132, in Niagara Falls proper.


In 1933, the US Congress was called into special session by President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to began "a hundred days" of enacting FDR's New Deal legislation. After closing the nation's banks on March 4, Bro. Roosevelt then pushed Congress to create a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), to go off the gold standard, to enact the Federal Emergency Relief Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act, the Truth in Securities Act, the National Industrial Recoveries Act, and more. Washington insiders were amazed at the energy of this polio-crippled President and Mason and his quick successes that helped put a deep-in-Depression America back on its feet.

In 1964 Bro. Earl Warren's's Supreme Court handed down a unanimous ruling in favor of the New York Times in NY Times vs Sullivan. Basing their ruling on the First Amendment and the "profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open," the justices ruled that public officials could not recover damages for libel that occurred in a news report related to their official duties unless they could prove "actual malice" on the part of the news organization. Bro. Justice Hugo Black went even further, insisting that the First Amendment protects all criticism of the government, even speech published with actual malice. Thus, New York Times vs. Sullivan was a landmark decision on the issue of press freedom. In 1960 the New York Times had published a paid fund-raising advertisement for the civil rights movement. The ad included statements about the actions of the police department of Montgomery, Alabama. Some of the statements contained minor factual errors. One of Montgomery's three city commissioners sued the New York Times for libel, claiming that since he was responsible for the Montgomery police department, the incorrect statements referred to him. agreed with him and ordered the Times pay him damages of a half million dollars. That's when The Times appealed the case to the Supreme Court.




In 1930, former President and US Chief Justice Bro. William Howard Taft was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The 27th President had been made a Mason "at sight' by Grand Master Charles ..S. Hoskinson on June 18, 1909, the year he became President. He was affiliated with Kilwinning Lodge 356 at Cincinnati, OH, and later became and Honorary member of Crescent Lodge No. 25, at Cedar Rapids, IA.

In 1941, Bro. Fanklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Wold War II Lend-Lease Act into law, releasing vast quantities of war materials to Britain and China, and later to the USSR. In addition, the Lend-Lease program launched the U.S. industrial economy towards a war footing nine months before the country entered WWII. In January, 1941 Bro. Roosevelt proposed the Lend-Lease program whereby the U.S. would become the "arsenal of democracy" and provide weapons to help Britain, the Soviet Union, and any other allies to defend themselves against the Axis powers. From London, Prime Minister and Bro. Winston Churchill entreated Congress to approve the Lend-Lease program: "Give us the tools and we will finish the job."

In 1942 Bro. and Gen. Douglas MacArthur was ordered by President Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt to leave the Philippines as Japanese forces continued to advance during World War II. Bro. MacArthur headed for Australia vowing "I shall return." He kept that promise nearly three years later.


In 1807 – Albert Gallatin Mackey was born (d. June 20, 1881) – Masonic Author, notably of the Masonic Dictionary.

In 1923 was born at Hackernsack, NJ, astronaut Bro.Walley Schirrar who was made a "Mason at Sight" by the Grand Master of Masons of Florida. Bro. Schirra carried several Masonic items with him on his Apollo 7 flight and 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.. His lodge affiliaiton is not known at this writing.

In 1933, just over a week after his first inauguration, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered a radio address to the American people, in which he talked about the ongoing banking crisis and explained the emergency policies he had mplemented in order to deal with it. It was the first of his "fireside chats," radio broadcasts in which he addressed the American people in a casual, friendly manner. During his nearly twelve years in the White House, Bro. FDR delivered approximately 30 fireside chats. Most of effects of the Great Depression, the New Deal policies through which his administration was attempting to turn the economic tide, and later a whole range of issues related to the Second World War. The fireside chats not only consolidated Bro.  FDR's great personal popularity, but also served to maintain national confidence during the difficult Depression and war years and to help build consensus and rally support for the administration's policies.

In 1947 President and Bro. Harry S Truman established what became known as the "Truman Doctrine" to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism. He asked Congress for $400-million to support the governments of Greece and Turkey. "I believe that it must be the policy of the united States," he said in a speech, " to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure."


In 1863, President Lincoln hosted a formal reception in honor of circus midget General Tom Thumb (Bro. Charles S. Stratton) and his new bride Lavinia at the White House. The press played up theevent, which clearly caught the public imagination. However there were editorials criticizing the president for staging such a frivolous event at a time when the Union was faring poorly in the Civil war. Showman P.T. Barnum delighted audiences with all kinds of surprising entertainment. The biggest attraction of his shows was also the smallest: a performing midget known as General Tom Thumb. Just three feet four inches tall, Tom Thumb was a well-trained actor whose witty impersonations of famous figures charmed audiences in America and Europe. At the peak of his career he even gave two private performances to Queen Victoria, who delighted in his imitations of Napoleon. In 1863 General Tom Thumb married Lavinia Warren, another midget who performed in Barnum's shows. It was the most celebrated marriage of the time, attended by two thousand guests. President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln were invited, and although unable to attend, they did send gifts. A couple of weeks later, when the newlyweds passed through Washington on President Lincoln hosted the fete in their honor. Bro.Stratton was a member of St. John's Lodge in Bridgeport, CT.

In 1868, one of the most dramatic trials in American history, began as he US Senate took action on the Articles of Impeachment brought against the 17th US President by the House of Representatives. One of the counts involved his efforts to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in violation of the Tenure in Office Act passed easier by a hostile Congress. The trial ended May 26 of that year when the Senate acquitted Bro. Johnson of all the Articles of Impeachment brought against him by a vote of 35 to 19, two short of the number needed for conviction.

In 1925, the State of Tennessee prohibited the teaching of Evolution in public schools and universities. The new law mandated that schools could only teach the belief that humans were created by God and had not evolved from lower animals. The law was put to the test by the "Scopes Monkey Trial," in which John Scopes, a high school teacher, was convicted for teaching Evolution. Clarence Darrow, one of the best lawyers in his day, defended john Scopes in what became known as the "Monkey" Trial. Bro.William Jennings Bryan, known fundamentalist and Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, led the prosecution. The final showdown between the two became legendary as one of the greatest courtroom examinations ever, and inspired the movie, "Inherit the Wind."


In 1900, using a new gold pen, President and Bro. McKinley signed the gold standard Bill approved by the House of Representatives 166 to 120. In opposition the defeated free-silver forces caged "stealthy deceit, fraud and corruption."

In 1903, US President and Bro. Teddy Roosevelt designated Pelican Island, near Sebastian, Florida, as the first National Wildlife Refuge in the US. It began as a 5-acre island, and has since grown into a 5000-acre refuge. The Learning Kingdom.

In 1923, President and Bro. Warren G. Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax report. He was a member of Albert Pike Lodge No. 23 in Washington, DC. The 29th US President was also the first of 15 US Presidents to become a Shrine Mason.


In 1767, Bro. Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the US was born in a log cabin at Waxhaw, SC. Bro. Jackson was the first President since Bro. George Washington who had not attended college. He was a military hero in the War of 1812 and his presidency reflected his democratic and egalitarian values He died at Nashville, TN June 8, 1845. Bro. Jackson was raised at Harmony Lodge No. 1 at Nashville, TN. He was Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee 1822-1824, Honorary member of Federal Lodge No. 1, Washington, DC, and a member of Mark and Royal Arch.

In 1965, President and Bro. Lyndon B. Johnson appeared before a joint session of Congress to urge the enactment of the Voting Rights Act. In a speech that was also televised across the nation, Bro.LBJ spoke strongly for the cause of black Americans' struggle for equality, and identified that struggle as a personal and national moral cause. In a determined voice, speaking slowly with his pronounced Southern accent, he said, "Their cause must be our cause too... because it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we ... shall ... overcome." Known as the "American Promise" speech, or the "We Shall Overcome" speech, it is regarded among the major pieces of American political rhetoric. In addition to helping to strengthen the national consensus in favor of federal civil rights initiatives, it accomplished its more immediate purpose: the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed through the House and Senate with solid bipartisan support. On August 6, 1965, Bro. Lyndon Johnson signed it into law in the Rotunda at the Capitol. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a major victory in the struggle for Afro-American freedom and equality. It outlawed discrimination in employment and required equal access to public places. But civil rights leaders recognized that the ultimate key to racial equality was equal participation in the electoral process. This was not possible as long as discriminatory practices in Southern states prevented large numbers of blacks from voting. To address this problem, the administration of President Johnson proposed a Voting Rights Act that would outlaw the use of literacy tests and similar voter qualification devices, and would authorize federal supervision of voter registration.


In 1802 Congress passed an act establishing an official United States Military Academy to be situated at the fort of West Point on the Hudson. Although former President and Bro. George Washington first suggested the idea several years earlier no action was taken until 1801 when a cops of veteran engineers and artillerymen were transferred to West Pint for the purpose of training officer candidates. Official opening of the Academy was not to be until July 4, 1802.


In 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama was born Bro. Nat "King Cole, Black American singer and pianist, who became one of the country's most popular entertainers. He began his musical career at a age 4 playing the piano. He was the first Black entertainer to host a national television show. He died February 25,. 1965 at Santa Monica, CA at age 45. Bro. Cole was initiated into Thomas Waller Lodge No. 49, Los Angeles, CA, Prince Hall Affiliation.

In 1942 General Douglas MacArthur became Supreme Commander of the United Nations forces in the Southwestern Pacific. This dramatic shift of command and promotion for the officer who has held the Japanese at bay on the Island of Luzon for three months and ten days was announced by the War Department simultaneously with his arrival in Australia. Traveling by plane, he arrived with his staff and his wife and child. A few hours after announcement of the action, President and Bro. Roosevelt said he was "sure that every American," agreed with his decision to take General MacArthur out of the Philippines.


In 1919 – Order of DeMolay was founded in Kansas City, Missouri, later to become DeMolay International.

In 1933, and at the request of US President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Congress formed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), an ambitious project to supply electric power and create jobs, and to reconstruct one of the area's most devastated by the Great Depression. The TVA today is "the nation's largest electric power producer"

In 1963 the US Supreme Court issued its ruling, written by Bro. Hugo Black, in the Gideon v. Wainwright case. The decision was unanimous in reversing the conviction of Clarence Gideon. Ruling that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to state as well as federal cases, the Court allowed Gideon to be retried, this time with the aid of a lawyer. At his second trial, Gideon was found innocent of the charges. The Gideon v. Wainwright ruling was a landmark decision. It clearly established that all persons charged with serious crimes must be provided with an attorney. Based on that decision, states are required to appoint attorneys for all defendants who cannot afford to hire their own.


In 1860 at Salem IL. was born Bro. William Jennings Bryan, American political leader, member of Congress, Democratic Presidential nominee and "free silver" advocate. Known as "the silver-tongued orator," Bro. Bryan assisted with questionable success in the prosecution of the Scopes trial involving the teaching of Darwinian evolution. He died at Dayton, TN July 26, 1925.

In 1891 born at Los Angeles, CA was Bro. Earl Warren , Jurist and Mason, who became Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1953. Before the appointment he was Governor of California. He was Special Ambassador of the US to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, served as Chancellor of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Art. A member of Sequoia Lodge 349 of Oakland, CA., he serve as Grand Master of California Masons 1935-36. He was a member of Oakland Chapter 36, R.A.M., and Oakland Commandery No. 11, K/T. He was at one time Potentate of Aahmes Shrine Temple of Oakland, and a member of St. Phillip Conclave No. 23, Red Cross of Constantine. He joined the Scottish Rite in Oakland in 1919 and on December 23, 1941, received the Rite's Honorary 33-deg AASR(SJ). He died at Washington, DC July 9, 1974. (He died at Washington, DC July 9, 1974.


In 1727, physicist, mathematician and astronomer Bro. Sir Isaac Newton died in London. There is no "hard" proof that Bro. Newton was a Mason, but as a member of a semi-Masonic Gentleman's Club of Spalding, he was presumed to be. Also his affinity for Masonic "think" such as the configuration and dimensions of Solomon's Temple, gnosticism, . and from 1691 to 1727 his role as Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, that mystical French force concerned with Hermetic Freemasonry and the Knights Templar until the "cutting of the elm" and its separation from the Knights Templar in 1188. Weeks before his death he burned most of his manuscripts and did not ask for last rites.


In 1685, born at Eisenbach, Germany, was Bro. Johann Sebastian Bach, organist and composer, and regarded as one of the most influential composers in musical history. The transcendent values of Bro. Bach's music - its melodic beauty , its contrapuntal strength, its rhythmic vitality, its harmonic profundity - speak across time, in a universal language to a multitude of composers. Bro. Bach died at Leipzig, Germany , July 28, 1750.

In 1806, born at Oaxaca, Mexico, was Bro. Benito Pablo Juarez, a full-blooded Zapotec Indian who grew up to become the President of Mexico. Bro. Juarez learned Spanish by age 12. He became judge of the civil court in 1842, a member of congress in 1846, and governor in 1847. In 1858, following a rebellion against the constitution, the presidency was passed to Bro. Juarez. He died at Mexico City, July 18, 1872. A symbol of liberation and of Mexican resistance to foreign intervention, his birthday is a public holiday in Mexico.




In 1743 composer Bro. George Frederick Handel's oratorio "Messiah" had its London premier, and to immediate acclaim.

In 1775 at St. John's Church in Richmond, Bro. Patrick Henry, American patriot, urged for the arming of the Virginia militia in preparation for the American revolution with the impassioned words: "I know not what course others may take, but as for or me, give me liberty or give me death."

In 1806, explorers Bro. Meriwether Lewis and Bro. William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east. Bro. Clark, American explorer and frontier politician, joined another Freemason, Bro. Meriwether Lewis on the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-6), the first overland exploration of the American West and Pacific Northwest. Bro. Clark was responsible for the careful mapmaking. He later served as Native American agent and governor of the Missouri Territory (1813-1821). Bro. Lewis, American soldier and explorer, also served as Governor of the Louisiana Territory and was proclaimed a National Hero. He was the first Master of St. Louis Lodge #111.


In 1721, the Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg, a local noble, would have been long forgotten had it not been for an unexpected gift he received on this day: a gorgeously bound musical manuscript containing six concertos. The Margrave never thanked the giver of the gift, never paid him for it, or gave him anything in return. He had no way of knowing that this gift from Bro. Johann Sebastian Bach would come to be regarded as a masterpiece of Baroque music, or that nearly three centuries later it would remain among the most widely admired and frequently performed musical works. The irony is that the six lively chamber orchestra concertos were later named for their unappreciative recipient: The Brandenburg Concertos. Music historians believe that the Margrave's small orchestra in Brandenburg never performed the Brandenburg Concertos. At the time that he wrote them Bro. Bach was music director in the small town of Coethen, and it is assumed that they were first performed for the court there, directed by Bro. Bach himself. Although the six compositions are essentially orchestral rather than solo concertos, they include prominent solo parts. Concerto No. 5 comes closest to the solo concerto form, featuring an assertive harpsichord solo of enormous complexity and difficulty, which Bro. Bach himself performed. In fact during his lifetime and immediately after, Bro. Bach was famous less as a composer than as a harpsichord player and organist.

In 1855, at Pittsburgh, PA, was born Bro. Andrew W. Mellon, American financier, industrialist, and government official (Secretary of the Treasury). art and book collector. He was President of the Mellon National Bank, and from 1921 to 1932, Secretary of the US Treasury. In 1930 he founded the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, and in 1937, donated his highly important art collection to the nation. He was made a Mason "at sight' by the Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, at Pittsburgh, 1928. He died August 27, 1937, at Southampton, NY.

In 1874, at Budapest, Hungary, was born Bro. Harry Houdini, lecturer, athlete, author, expert on the history of magic, exposer of fraudulent mediums, and motion-picture actor. Bro. Houdini was best known for his ability to escape from locked restraints (handcuffs, straitjackets, coffins, boxes and milk cans). The anniversary of his death at Detroit, MI on October 31 (Halloween) 1926, has occasioned meetings of magicians attempting to communicate with the dead. Bro. Houdini became a Mason in 1923 at St. Cecile Lodge No. 568, New York City .

In 1934, US President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a Bill granting independence to The Philippines. The Bill, which took effect July 4, 1946, brought to a close almost half a century of US control of the islands.


In 1306, Robert the Bruce was chosen to be King of Scots and to lead the fight for Scottish independence against Edward I of England assisted by fugitive Knights Templar, escaped from France's Philip IV. His reign did not begin well. He was defeated by the English at Methven in Perthshire; his wife, daughter and sisters were imprisoned; and three of his brothers were executed by the English. Robert fled westward to the Antrim coast. However, he possessed real military genius and he was helped by the fact that in 1307 Edward I, the self-styled 'Hammer of the Scots', died and was succeeded by his less effective son Edward II. From 1307 onwards, with energy and determination, and later, with the help of the Templars, forerunners of modern Masonry , Robert waged highly successful guerrilla warfare against the English occupiers, establishing control north of the Forth, and gradually won back his kingdom. His campaign culminated in resounding victory over Edward II (whose larger army of 20,000 outnumbered Robert's forces by three to one) at the Battle of Bannockburn, near Stirling on 24 June 1314. Bannockburn confirmed the re-establishment of an independent Scottish monarchy.

In 1945, Bro. Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England, briefly crossed to the eastern bank of the Rhine River to become the first Englishman to enter Germany since Chamberlain signed the Munich pact in September, 1938. Bro. Churchill commemorated the event by contemptuously urinating into the river. He later wrote General Montgomery: " The Rhine and all its fortress lines lie behind the 21st Group of Armies. A beaten army, not long ago Master of Europe, retreats before its pursuers."


In 1794, President George Washington and Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Navy.

In 1836, Bro. Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) dedicated the first temple of the Church in, Ohio. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the construction of temples was an important priority for Mormon followers. Bro. Smith was made a Mason "at sight" by the then Grand master of Masons in Ohio. It is said that many of the symbols and ceremonies used by the Mormon Church are of Masonic origin. When Bro. Smith claimed the revelation of polygamy in 1843, he was arrested and jailed at Carthage, Ill, and shot and killed by a mob on June 27, 1844. His brother Hyrum was also killed.


In 1836, In a disastrous setback for Texans resisting Santa Anna's dictatorial regime, the Mexican army defeated and executed 417 Texas revolutionaries at Goliad. Many Anglo Texan settlers reacted with alarm when Antonio López de Santa Anna proclaimed himself dictator of Mexico in 1835. When Santa Anna imposed martial law and attempted to disarm the Texans, the moved the flames of Texan resistance. In November 1853, Texan leaders proclaimed their resistance to Santa Anna's dictatorship. The next month, the Texans managed to defeat 800 Mexican soldiers stationed in San Antonio. However, rebel leaders remained deeply divided over what to do next, making them vulnerable to Santa Anna's ruthless determination to suppress dissension. While the Texas rebels dallied, Santa Anna moved decisively. In mid-February Santa Anna led a massive Mexican army across the Rio Grande, and after a 13-day siege of the Alamo, crushed the rebels in San Antonio. Meanwhile, to the south, Santa Ann's chief lieutenant, General Urrea, moved to destroy another faction of the rebel army attempting to defend the town of Goliad. James W. Fannin was left with only slightly more than 300 Texans to protect Goliad, a position the rebels needed in order to maintain their supply routes to the Gulf Coast. As Urrea's much larger 1400-man army approached, Fannin attempted to fall back from the approaching Mexican army, but his retreat order came too late. On March 19, Urrea surrounded the small column of rebel soldiers on an open prairie, where they were trapped without food, water, or cover. After repulsing one Mexican assault, Fannin realized there was no chance of escape. Rather than see his force annihilated, Fannin surrendered. Texans who surrendered believed they would be treated as prisoners of war. Santa Anna, however, had clearly stated several months before that he considered the rebels to be traitors who would be given no quarter. In obedience to Santa Anna's orders, on this day in 1836 Urrea ordered his men to open fire on Fannin and his soldiers, along with about 100 other captured Texans. More than 400 men were executed that day at Goliad. Ironically, rather than serve to crush the Texas rebellion, the Goliad Massacre helped inspire and unify the Texans. Texas revolutionaries began to yell "Remember Goliad!" along with the more famous battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!" Less than a month later, Texan forces under General and Bro. Sam Houston dealt a stunning blow to Santa Anna's army in the Battle of San Jacinto, and Texas won its independence.

In 2003 one of the spears which killed Captain James Cook was bought for £135,000 by an anonymous private buyer from London. Used by Hawaiian islanders to murder Bro. Cook on February 14 1779, it was kept by a navigation officer serving on Bro. Cook's ship, the "Resolution," and later turned into a walking stick. When it was auctioned on behalf of his descendants by Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh the bidding began at £15,000. (The spear had been valued at £1000-£2000)  The walking stick bears the inscription: "From Adml. CBH Ross to Admiral Sir David Milne GCB. Made of the Spear that killed Captn Cook RN." At the time of his death Cook and his crew were repairing their ship in Kealakekua Bay after it was damaged during an attempt to sail from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the Arctic Ocean. During a previous stay the islanders had looked upon Cook as a god, but the atmosphere soured on the second visit when he accused them of stealing from the Resolution. On the day of his death Cook had gone ashore to take a local dignitary hostage until the supposedly stolen goods were returned. He was greeted on the beach by 1,000 vengeful warriors who stabbed him to death with their spears. His body was surrendered by the islanders and buried at sea. Cook is best known for commanding the Endeavour, which landed at Botany Bay in 1770. He also charted large areas of the west coast of America, New Zealand, Tahiti and Java".


In 1834, the U.S. Senate voted to censure US President and Bro. Andrew Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. Leading the censure was US Senator and bro. Henry Clay who had branded Bro. Jackson a tyrant and who had run a poor second to him in the previous Presidential election. The Senate vote was 26-20 to censure Bro. Jackson for his withdrawal of government funds from the Second Bank of the United States without congressional approval.

In 1891 in Denver, CO was born Bro. Paul Whiteman, famed orchestra leader/conductor who became known during the 20's and beyond as the "King of Jazz." He conducted two trascontinental jazzconcert tours in the US (1924-26), toured England and the principal; cities of Europe (1926). In 1943 he became Musical Director of the Blue Radio Network. He appeared many times on radio, television and in films. A member of St. Cecile Lodge 568 in New York City, he was exalted in Corinthian Chapter 159 (RAM) in Brooklyn, NY on May 22, 1922, and Knighted in Ivanhoe Commandery 36 (KT) on August 17, 1922.He was also a member of Mecca Shrine Temple in New York City. He died in New York City in 1967.

In 1921 US President and Bro. Warren G. Harding appointed Bro. William Howard Taft Chief justice of the United States (President of the Supreme Court of Justice). Bro. Taft was made a Mason "at sight on June 18, 1909 by Grand Master Charles S. Hoskinson. Bro. Taft became affiliated with Kilwinning Lodge 356 on April 4 in Cincinnati, OH. He later was made an Honorary member of Crescent Lodge 25 at Cedar Rapids, IA. A very active Mason he died March 8, 1930.


In 1847, victorious American forces led by General and Bro. Winfield Scott occupied the city of Veracruz, Mexico, after its defenders capitulated. He went on to defeat Mexican forces at Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Cherubusco, Molino del Rey, and Chapaultepec, occupying Mexico City on Sept ember 14, 1847. Bro. Scott was made a Mason in Dinwiddie Union Lodge No. 23, Dinwiddie Court House, VA (now extinct). He died May 29, 1867 at West Point, NY where he is buried.


In 1778, in the course of his third voyage of exploration to the Pacific, Captain and Bro. James Cook entered a large bay on the western coast of a huge island in what is now British Columbia. Finding that the bay formed a good natural harbor, he anchored his vessels, H.M.S. Resolution and H.M.S. Discovery, in a cove there and sent some sailors to search for fresh water. He named the bay King George's Sound, in honor of the British King. A few aboriginal people approached his vessels in canoes and cried out, "Itchem nutka, itchem nutka!" meaning, "Go around!" Not realizing that they were directing his ships to another, more sheltered cove, Cook assumed they were telling him the name of the area. He therefore changed King George Sound to Nootka Sound, the name it goes by today. Bro. Cook and his men spent an entire month in Nootka Sound, re-supplying their boats, and making observations about the new area and the natives, both of which they found congenial. Aboard Cook's ship was a 21-year-old midshipman named George Vancouver. Fourteen years later, as leader of another voyage of exploration, Captain Vancouver returned to the area and circumnavigated and mapped the huge island. It now bears his name. While other European navigators had reached the Pacific coast of Canada before Bro. Cook's 1778 visit, it was that visit, and Vancouver's subsequent mapping expedition that brought the area into the realm of Britain's expanding colonial empire.

In 1732, at Rahrau, Austria-Hungary, was born the composer who became known as the :"Father of the Symphony," Bro. Joseph Franz Haydn. During his career Bro.; Haydn composed more h an 120 symphonies, more than 100 works for chamber groups, a dozen operas, and hundreds of other musical works. Bro. Amadeus Mozart sponsored his entry into Freemasonry Bro. Haydn became a Freemason in lodge Zur Wahrn Entracht at Vienna on February 4, 1785. Bro. Mozart was there to "raise" him.

In 1842, Dr. and Bro. Crawford W. Long removed a tumor from the neck of a man who was under the influence of ether. Having seen the use of nitrous oxide and sulfuric ether at "laughing gas" parties, Bro. Long observed that individuals under their influence felt no pain. Since 1933 the event has been celebrated as Doctor's Day. The red carnation as been designated the official flower of Doctor's Day. Bro. Long became a member of Mount Vernon Lodge No. 22, Athens, GA, and remained on its rolls until his death on June 16, 1878.


In 1732, at Rahrau, Austria-Hungary, was born the composer who became known as the :"Father of the Symphony," Bro. Joseph Franz Hayden. During his career Bro.; Hayden composed more h an 120 symphonies, more than a100 woks for chamber groups, a dozen operas, and hundreds of other musical works. Bro. Amadeus Mozart sponsored his entry into Freemasonry Bro. Hayden became a Freemason in lodge Zur Wahrn Entracht at Vienna on February 4, 1785. Bro. Mozart was there to "raise" him.

In 1878, born in Galveston, TX was Bro. John (Jack) Arthur Johnson, the fist Black to win the heavyweight boxing championship when he defeated Tommy Burns at Sydney, Australia. Unable to accept the outcome the boxing world tried to find a white challenger.; Jim Jeffries, former heavyweight champion, was badgered out of retirement to take on Bro. Johnson. The fight, billed as the "Battle of the Century ," proved a farce when Bro.. Johnson handily defeated Jeffries . Race riots swept the US and plans to exhibit the film were canceled. Bro. Johnson died in an auto accident at Raleigh, NC on June 10, 1946. He was inducted into boxing's Hall of Fame in 1990. The film, "The Great White Hope," is based on his life. Bro. Johnson was raised at Lodge Forfar and Kincaidine No. 225, Dundee, Scotland, October 13, 1911.

In 1968 US President and Bro. Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the nation by announcing on television that he did not intend to run for re -election. "I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party as your President," he said. In his speech he admitted that the Vietnam conflict had created "a division in the American house" and that he could not "permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing."

back to top

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: July 05, 2014