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In 1889 was born in Kansas City, MO Bro.Wallace Beery, voted "The world's Best Actor" in 1934 by the International Motion Picture Exposition at Venice, Italy. Bro. Beery ran away from home as a child to become an elephant trainer ion a circus. His first job in films was as a female impersonator. He became noted for his character roles. Bro. Beery belonged to Blaney lodge 271 of Chicago, IL, held a 32 deg. AASR, and belonged to the Shrine. He died April 25, 1949.
In 1725 at Venice, Italy, was born Bro. Giovanni Giacomo Giralamo Casanova (or, Casanova de Seingalt), celebrated Italian writer, librarian, philanderer, adventurer, rogue,seminarian, soldier and spy. Born to a family of actors he was educated for the priesthood, showing excellent mind and wit, until he was expelled for scandelous behavior. He entered Freemasonry in Lyons in 1750. The Craft had wide appeal for him for his writings are filled with references to Freemasonry, advising all men well bornwho wishe to become of value to the community, to become Freemasons. He asserted that the real secrets of the fraternity were not in its symbols or words, but were to be found only in reflection, reason, comparison and deduction. He averred that the secrets of Freemasonry, discovered by the individual, cannot be imparted to another. He is best remembered for his memoirs, "History of My Life," a brilliant picture of 18th century life. He died at Dux, Bohemia, June 4, 1798.
In 1843, born at Colman, in Alsace,France, was Bro. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, French sculptor who created "Liberty Enlightening the world," but better known as the Statue of Liberty, which guards the entrance to New York Harbor..Bro. Batholdi was one of the early members of lodge Alsace-Lorraine (1875) which was composed mainly of writers, artists, intellectals and government representatives. On June 19, 1884, his Lodge went en masse to review the statue which was to become a gift to America from the people of France. Bro. Bartholdi died at Paris, October 4, 1904.
In 1875 at Wamego, KS. American motor car manufacturer. His career in the motor industry began with Buick in 1912, but he went on to set up his own corporation and to become a household name. Bro. Chrysler began his career as an apprentice in a railroad machine shop. Soon after he became the manager of the Buick Motor Company and in 1916 was the company's president. He resigned from the Buick Motor Company to oversee Willys-Overland Company and Maxwell Motor Company . In 1925 he merged the two to become The Chrysler Corporation. He died at Great Neck,NY, August 18,. 1940.
In 1948 US President and Bro. Harry S Truman signed the Plan for European Recovery into law. The Plan - dubbed The Marshall Plan - was suggested by then Secretary of State Bro. George C. Marshall in a speech at Harvard University June 5, 1947. When the Second World War ended in 1945, most European countries were in desperate circumstances. Cities and industries were destroyed, economies were in tatters, and hunger was a serious threat. Even where the social structure was intact, the formidable task of rebuilding was hampered by the lack of capital. The situation threatened to cripple U.S.-European trade and to benefit the large communist parties active in several key European countries. To address this crisis, Secretary of State George Marshall gave the speech at Harvard in which he proposed that European nations create a plan to reconstruct their economies and that the United States provide economic help to accomplish the plan. Marshall explained that the goal was not just to end "poverty, desperation and chaos" but also to "permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." On December 19, 1947, President Harry Truman presented Congress with a legislative package to implement Marshall's idea of an American-financed reconstruction of Europe. Popularly known as the Marshall Plan, officially it was titled The Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, it was overwhelmingly approved by Congress, and was signed into law by President Truman on this date. Since 90% of the money went to grants given to European countries to buy primarily U.S. goods and services, it also brought immediate benefits to the American economy. From the American point of view, the Marshall Plan provided markets for American goods, created reliable trading partners, and supported the development of stable, non-Communist, democratic governments in Western Europe. From the European point of view, it restored agricultural and industrial productivity, prevented political chaos and famine, and built a solid foundation for a post-war economic boom. It also earned Bro. George Marshall a Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. After distributing more than $12-billion, the Program ended in 1952.
In 1776, Bro. George Washington received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Harvard College.
In 1948 US President and Bro. Harry S Truman signed the North Atlantic Treaty. At the signing ceremony, Bro. Truman said the treaty "would create a shield against aggression and fear of aggression, a bulwark which will permit us to get on with the real business of... achieving a fuller and happier life for all of our citizens." Although the destruction of Nazi Germany brought peace to Western Europe, the post-war situation was not reassuring. In addition to great political and economic instability, there was tension generated by the threat of Soviet expansionism. The Marshall Plan, launched in 1948, laid the foundation for Western Europe's economic recovery, and it was hoped that a revitalized economy would bring political stability. But Western leaders still sought a means to counter the threat of Soviet aggression, a threat that seemed especially real during the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948. On April 4, 1949 the foreign ministers of the U.S., Canada, and 10 Western European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal) came together in Washington, D.C. to sign the North Atlantic Treaty. A collective security pact, the North Atlantic Treaty guaranteed that an attack against any nation that signed it would be regarded, and responded to, as an attack against them all. The signatories formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which formulated the military plans for regional security. Greece and Turkey joined NATO in 1952, followed by West Germany in 1955 and Spain in 1982. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, several former Soviet-bloc nations expressed a desire to join. On March 12, 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland were welcomed into NATO, which now has 19 members.
In 1856 African-American educator, leader and Prince-Hall Mason was born near Hale's Ford, VA. Bro. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute of Alabama in 1884 and became its President. A writer and educator on racial and educational subjects he became the author of many books of importance of African-Americans and those concerned with their plights. He was made a Mason "at sight" by the Grand Master of Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. This jurisdictional irregularity caused some difficulty since Bro. Washington had been born in Alabama. It may have prevented him from affiliating with a Lodge in his jurisdiction. He died November 14 1915.
In 1955, Bro. Winston Churchill, the leader who helped guide Great Britain through World War II, retired as Prime Minister of Great Britain. A master diplomat, military strategist, and writer, Bro. Churchill was Britain's Prime Minister on two different occasions, and then in 1953 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Bro. Churchill was one of the most important political leaders of the world.
In 1964, Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur died in Washington at age 84 Bro. MacArthur was made a Mason "at sight" by Bro. Samuel Hawthorne, Grand Master of Masons in The Philippines January 17, 1936. He affiliated with Manila Lodge No. 1. He received the 32nd degree Scottish Rite at Manila the same year and became a life member of Nile Shine Temple, Seattle, WA.
In 1830, under the leadership of Bro. Joseph Smith, Jr., the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded at Fayette, New York. According to the Church's theology, the Prophet Mormon had recorded on gold plates the teachings of Jesus Christ 1,400 years earlier, and it was Mormon's son, Moroni, who in the form of an angel, appeared to Bro. Smith. Bro. Smith was initiated at Nauvoo Lodge, Nauvoo, Il.
In 1922 – International Order of the Rainbow for Girls founded in McAlester, Oklahoma.
In 1909, Bro. Robert E. Peary, Bro. Matthew A. Henson, and Inuits Ootah, Egingwah, Seegloo, and Ooqueah reached the North Pole. Bro. Henson was an African-American, which was significant given the prejudices of the time. The six-man team made a final dash from their advance base camp and reached 90 degrees north; they were the first people in recorded history to reach this pole. Their round trip ride with dogsleds has never been repeated. Bro. Peary was a member of explorer's lodge Kane No,. 454, New York City. Bro. Henson was a member of Celestial Lodge No. 3 of Prince Hall Jurisdiction in New York City.
In 1940, a ten-cent stamp honoring Bro. Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was issued on April 7, 1940 as part of the Famous American Series. He was the first African- American to be depicted on a postage stamp. Bro. Washington was born into slavery, but following Emancipation he attended a newly founded school for blacks: Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University). In 1879 he became an instructor at Hampton, and was so successful that two years later he was appointed principal of a black school in Tuskegee, Alabama (now Tuskegee University). He built the school into a significant African-American institution of learning, with an emphasis on agricultural and industrial training. As a strategy for improving the situation of African-Americans following the Emancipation from slavery, Washington advocated economic independence through self-help, hard work, and a practical education. Although later generations of African-American leaders faulted Washington for urging blacks to accept their inferior social position while striving to raise themselves, he is still admired for his dedication to black advancement and the many practical steps he took to promote it. In addition to his work at Tuskegee, Booker T. Business League and the author of an inspiring autobiography and a biography of Frederick Douglass. Bro. Washington was made a Mason "at sight' by the Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, causing some difficulty, as he was a resident of Alabama. He died November 4, 1915.
In 1970 Bro. John (Marion Michael Morrison) Wayne won his first and only Oscar for his role in the motion picture "True Grit." He had been in over 200 films. A DeMolay,. he was the archetypal western hero. He died in 1979.
In 1952, US President and Bro. Harry S Truman seized control of the nation's steel mills by presidential order in an attempt to prevent a shutdown by strikers. On April 29, a US District Court declared the seizure unconstitutional and workers immediately walked out. Production dropped from 300,000 tons a dash to less than 20,000. After 53 days the strike ended on July 24, with steelworkers receiving a 16-cent hourly wage increase plus a 5.4-cent hourly increase in fringe benefits.
American Mason joins our Buddhist Brethren in celebrating the birthday of The Buddha. The founder of Buddhism had the given name of Siddhartha, the family name, Guatama and the clan name, Shaka. He is commonly called The Buddha, meaning "The Enlightened One." He is thought to have lived in India from c. 563 BC to 483 BC. Some countries celebrate his holiday on the lunar calendar so the date changes from year to year.
In 1935, the U.S. Congress approved Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA). Later called the Work Projects Administration, the national program employed more than 8 million people on 1.4 million projects before it was ended in 1943. The Federal Art Project was one of WPA's projects that assisted artists: The Federal Art Program (FAP) was a branch of the WPA, Bro. Roosevelt's massive work-relief effort. In its peak years, 1936 to 1938, the FAP employed 5,000 artists across the country, at a salary of $95 a month. They created murals, sculptures and paintings, taught community art classes to millions, and produced 2 million posters from 35,000 designs at a cost of about a dime each.
In 1939 - thanks to Bro. Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor - more than 75,000 people, a record audience at the time, gathered at Lincoln Memorial to hear Marian Anderson sing. Millions more heard the performance by radio broadcast. Standing near the statue of the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, she began her performance by singing, "My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing."By the mid-1930s Marian Anderson was a renowned singer, her contralto voice familiar in the U.S. and Europe through concert tours where she displayed a mastery of the classical repertoire, opera, and spirituals. In 1935, after filling concert halls throughout Europe, she returned to the U.S. to perform concerts around her native country. For a concert in the nation's capital, her agent tried to book her into Constitution Hall, at that time the largest music auditorium in Washington. Unfortunately, Constitution Hall was owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), whose policy stipulated that all contracts to use the hall contain a clause saying "concert by white artists only." Because she was black, Marian Anderson was denied the use of Constitution Hall. Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's wife, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who sat on the board of the DAR, publicly resigned from the organization in protest. She approached Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, who made the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial available to Anderson and invited her to perform there on Easter Sunday. The DAR later changed its policy and Anderson performed many times at Constitution Hall. In 1955 she performed the role of Ulrica in a production of Verdi's "A Masked Ball" at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, the first performance of a black soloist with the Metropolitan Opera. Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and a Congressional gold medal in 1978. The Learning Kingdom .
In 1942 Gen. and Bro. Edward P King, Jr., devoid of food, water and ammunition, was forced to surrender his 76,000-man Luzon force under Gen. and Bro. Douglas MacArthur, to the Japanese,. The infamous Bataan Death March followed at Mariveles . Any troops who fell behind were executed. Japanese troops beat soldiers randomly, and denied the POWs food and water for many days. One of their tortures was known as the sun treatment. The Philippines in April is very hot. Therefore, the POWs were forced to sit in the sun without any shade, helmets, or water. Anyone who dared ask for water was executed. On the rare occasion they were given any food, it was only a handful of contaminated rice. When the prisoners were allowed to sleep for a few hours at night, they were packed into enclosures so tight that they could barely move. Those who lived collapsed on the dead bodies of their comrades. For only a brief part of the march would POWs be packed into railroad cars and allowed to ride. Those who did not die in the suffocating boxcars were forced to march about seven more miles until they reached their camp. It took the POWs over a week to reach their destination. Those on Corregidor would suffer the same fate as their fellow soldiers on Bataan did as they too were transferred to Bataan. Bataan Day in The Philippines, is a national observance, and the battleground of Bataan, a national shrine. Bro. King was a member of Gate City Lodge, No. 2, Atlanta, GA. , and a charter member and first Master of Fort Benning Lodge No. 579, Fort Benning, GA. He died August 31, 1958.
In 1959 NASA announced the selection of America's first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter; Gordon Cooper; Allan Sheppard, Donald Slayton and, representing the Masonic Fraternity, Brothers John Glenn, Gus Grissom and Wally Schirra.
In 1963 President John F. Kennedy signed a Congressional bill containing these words: "I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, under the authority contained in an Act of the 88th Congress, do hereby declare Sir Winston Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States of America." Never before had a person been granted honorary U.S. citizenship. Concluding his personal message on signing the bill, President Kennedy said, "By adding his name to our rolls, we mean to honor him -- but his acceptance honors us far more. For no statement or proclamation can enrich his name -- the name Sir Winston Churchill is already legend." Although he was half American by birth, Winston Churchill was a British subject throughout his long life. He was, of course, much more than a mere subject of Great Britain: he was the Prime Minister of that country during the time when it defended itself against Nazi Germany. His ties with the United States went far beyond having an American mother. In close cooperation with President and Bro. Franklin Roosevelt, he anchored the alliance that ultimately won the Second World War.
In 1794, born at Kingston, R.I. was Bro. Matthew Calbraith Perry, Commodore of the US Navy, negotiator of the first treaty between the US and Japan (March 31, 1854), its first contact with western powers. The treaty gave the US trading rights at two Japanese ports. In 1837, he commanded the first naval steamships, earning him the title of "Father of the Steam navy." Bro., Perry became a member of Holland Lodge No. 8 in New York City in 1819. He died March 4, 1858.
In 1898, US President and Bro. William McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war against Spain; in 1899, the treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
In 1951, US President and Bro. Harry S Truman fired Gen. and Bro. Douglas MacArthur from his post as commander of UN forces in Korea. The dismissal followed Bro. MacArthur's public disclosure of Bro. Truman's refusal to allow him to bomb bases in China; Bro. Truman feared an escalation of the Korean War and a direct confrontation with China.
In 1968, exactly one week after the assassination of Martin Luther her King, Jr.., US President and Bro. Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Act protected Civil Rights workers, expanded the rights of Native Americans, and provided antidiscrimination measures in housing.
In 1945, the 31st US President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt died at Warm Springs GA at age 63. Bro. Roosevelt became President in 1933, serving until his death. He was elected to four terms, the only US President ever to serve for more than two. During his Presidency he guided America through World war II in close alliance with Britain's Prime Minister, Bro. Winston Churchill. He was raised November 28, 1911 at New York City's Holland Lodge No, 8, and earned the 32nd Degree in the Scottish Rite at Albany, NY, February 28, 1929. He was a member of Cypress Shrine Temple, Albany, NY, Tri-Po Bed Grotto, Poughkeepsie, NY, and Greenworld Forest, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Warwick, NY. In 1930, he was appointed representative of the Grand Lodge of Georgia near the Grand lodge of New York. An ardent Freemason Bro. Roosevelt held honorary membership in a host of Masonic related groups. As President he received many Masonic delegations to the White House and on April 13, 1935, he became the first honorary Grand Master of the Order of DeMolay.
In 1812, "Marmion," a very successful dramatization of the poem by Bro. Sir Walter Scott, opened in New York City. At the time, the United States was at war with England, and the anti-English sentiments expressed in the play held great appeal for New York audiences. Scottish poet, novelist, historian and biographer, Bro. Scott was known as "The Border Minstrel," "The Wizard of the North," and The Great magician." He was a member of Lodge St. David No. 36, Edinburgh, Scotland.
In 1902, Bro. James C. Penney opened his first store, in Kemmerer, Wyo. The store was to be the first of what was to become at the time the world's largest department store chain with more than 1700 stores doing annual sales of over $1-billion. Bro. Penney was born on September 16, 1875 in Hamilton, MO. After the 1929 stock market crash Bro. Penney lost his fortune and wound up beaten and despondent at age 56 and living in a sanitarium. But he proved his method was sound by borrowing money and staging a comeback, which saw him recouping his fortune. He received his degrees at Wasatch Lodge No. 1, Salt Lake City, UT, April 28, May 19, and June 2 , 1911. In 1955 he became a dual member of United Services Lodge No. 1118 New York city. He became a member of Utah Chapter No. 1 (RAM) , Utah Council No. 1 (R&SM), and No. 1 (K.T.) all at Salt Lake City. In April, 1958, he was presented with the Gold Distinguished Service Award by the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons, at Kansas City, MO. He died in 1971.
In 1910, US President and Bro. William Howard Taft began a sports tradition by throwing out the first baseball of the season at an American League game between Washington and Philadelphia. Washington won, 3-0.
In 1741, born at Chestertown, MD was Bro. Charles Wilson Peale, American portrait painter, best known for his many portraits of colonial and American Revolutionary War figures. Bro. George Washington alone gave him 14 sittings, executing the fist portrait of him in 1772. Others he painted were Martha Washington, Bro. John Hancock, Bro. Benjamin Franklin, Bro. Andrew Jackson and Bro. Henry clay among scores of other notable figures. Bro. Peale was a member of Old Williamsburg Lodge (now No. 6) in Virginia.
In 1705, Queen Anne of England knighted Bro. Isaac Newton. Newton is regarded as one of history's greatest scientists, and is best known for his laws of motion and theory of universal gravitation. Newton's work in physics and mathematics completely revolutionized science: There is no evidence he was a Mason, But many of his close friends were and he is often credited with membership.
In 1789, President-elect and Bro. George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York. He had just been unanimously selected by the members of the Electoral College to become the first President of the United States of America. Although the new President-Elect had huge landholdings in Virginia, he was reported to be "cash poor." Rumors had it the was forced to borrow money to pay his expenses for the trip to the inauguration in New York. A re-enactment of the inauguration staged by New York Grand lodge will take place at Federal Hall in downtown New York City on April 30. Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York Carl J. Smith, together with Deputy Grand Master Carl J. Fitje, and members of the Grand Line, will attend reenactment ceremonies at Federal Hall, which is on Broad and Wall Streets.
In 2003, Bro. Samuel J. LeFrak, a former member of 37 years in Brooklyn, NY's Amos - Fort Greene Lodge No. 922 , died from complications of a stroke on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at the age of 85. Bro.. LeFrak was raised on April 1, 1964. He was granted a Dimit at his request on December 31, 2000. Bro. LeFrak is well known as the builder and developer of the LeFrak City housing complex located off the Long Island Expressway in the borough of Queens, which his company built during the 1960's. LeFrak City consists of 40-acres of property with 18 apartment buildings offering some 2,200 units. Bro. LeFrak was born in New York City on February 12, 1918. His father, Harry LeFrak, an émigré from France, founded the LeFrak Organization, which spearheaded the movement of building affordable housing for immigrants in the early 20th century. Bro. LeFrak took the helm of his father's company during the end of World War II at a time when the G.I.'s were coming home in the thousands and were looking for low-cost, but modern housing. He accommodated this need by building some 2,000 units on the vacant marshlands of Brooklyn. Eventually, Bro. LeFrak's business expanded to the point where he had built over 61,000 apartments in New York City and New Jersey during his tenure with the company. Also included as a LeFrak designed and developed building is the office tower located at 40 West 57th Street, NYC, which contains the corporate offices of the Bank of America and the ICM Talent Agency. Other signature developments include the Newport Complex in Jersey City, which includes 8 office towers and 5 apartment buildings at a cost of $10 Billion.
In 1492, a contract was signed by (Bro.) Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving (Bro.) Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia. Some will argue that (Bro.) Columbus was not raised in a regular lodge so should not be called :"Brother." But he was a Knight of Christ in Portugal, the name adapted by deposed Knights Templar who escaped King Philip IV's persecution in 1314. There is growing evidence that the Templars were early forerunners of modern Freemasonry.
In 1521 German religious reformer Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. The Church's action was based on Luther's attacks against the papacy and the sale of indulgences. (A practice common at the time, a person's sins were pardoned through the purchase of an indulgence letter.) Some doubt exists as to whether he was a Mason despite the claims of overzealous Masonic writers Bu t he is known to have been a member of the guild of Steinmetzen in Germany . Very few historical figures are as controversial as Martin Luther. His supporters call him a Protestant hero, a freedom fighter, a wise and insightful church leader. His detractors call him a heretic, an apostate, a profane ecclesiastical terrorist. Still others call him a necessary evil or the unwitting catalyst that set aflame a volatile social and ecclesiastical situation. Luther, himself, often called himself a simple monk or a simple Christian. He marveled that a straight-forward stand of conscience had turned him into one of the most-talked-about people of his time. Yet that simple Christian and that simple stand of conscience started an ecclesiastical shock wave that changed the course of Western history.
In 2001 Columbia University announced that two winners of this year's prestigious Pulitzer Prizes won for history steeped in Masonic purpose. Author David Levering Lewis was awarded his second Pulitzer in biography for "W.E.B. DuBois: the Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963," the second volume on Bro. W.E.B. DuBois in a series published by Henry Holt & Company. Lewis had earlier won a Pulitzer for biography in 1994 for his first volume , which covered Bro. DuBois' distinguished life from 1868 to 1919. Bro. DuBois, among other notable achievements, was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP). He was born at Great Barrington, MA, and died on August 27, 1963 in self-exile at Accra, in Ghana, Africa. His Masonry was Prince Hall Affiliated. The award for a work of history went to "Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation" by Joseph J. Ellis which examines a series of episodes revealing the Masonic relationships between our country's founding fathers such as Bro. George Washington, Bro. Benjamin Franklin, Bro. Paul Revere and many others. Author Ellis follows these Masons as they grapple with a half-dozen crisis that at determined t he shape of the new republic and changed the world ever after.
IN 1602 at Dunfermline after a short illness was William Schaw, who was appointed "Maister o' Warks" to King James VI in 1583. He was interred within Dunfermline Abbey in the north aisle of the nave, which he had restored. Following is a translation from the Latin inscription on His memorial: - To his most upright Friend, WILLIAM SCHAW, "Live with the Gods, and live forever, most excellent man; This life to thee was labour, death was deep repose. Erected by ALEXANDER SETON DEO OPTIMO MAXIMO. This humble structure of stones covers a man of excellent skill, notable probity, singular integrity of life, adorned with the greatest of virtues -William Schaw, Master of the King's Works, President of the Sacred Ceremonies, and the Queen's Chamberlain. He died 18th April 1602.Among the living he dwelt fifty-two years; he had travelled in France and many other Kingdoms, for the improvement of his mind; he wanted no liberal training; was "was most skilful in architecture; was *dearly*recommended to great persons" for the singular gifts of his mind; and was not only unwearied and indefatigable in labors and business, but constantly active and vigorous, and was most dear to every good man who knew him. He was born to do good offices, and thereby to gain the hearts of men; now he lives eternally with God. Queen Anne ordered this monument to be erected to the memory of this most excellent and most upright man, lest his virtues, worthy of eternal commendation, should pass away with the death of his body. There's not a great deal of information about William Schaw's personal life other than being married with children. Most of the information about him comes from the Court Records of King James, Public Records concerning building projects and some Local "chronicles" of building projects among others. Relevant to us, as Masons. In 1583 he was appointed to the office of "Master of Works and General Warden over the Craft" basically, he was the Royal Architect to King James VI. This wasn't a hereditary office, it was an appointment. His predecessors and successors are known and include his son, also William. His most famous action was the compiling of the Statutes and Ordinances of the Craft of Masonry, known as the "Schaw Statutes" one in 1598 and the second in 1599. These statutes were instrumental in the organization of the Craft on a national scale and covered the rules and regulations of Operative Stonemasons Lodges. The Statutes can be said to be responsible for a lot of innovations made to Operative Masonry which are still in use today in our Lodges. eg. Lodges were required, for the first time, to keep records of their transactions, whether it be administration or Entering Apprentices into the "Lodge Records". The oldest existing Lodge minute is that of Aitchison's Haven (near Edinburgh) dated 1599 and hasa copy of the 1st Schaw Statutes pasted into the minute book. The 2nd Schaw Statutes tend to be the one most talked about for a number of reasons. The additions and changes relate specifically to Lodge Kilwinning and her place in the "hierarchy" of Masonry. Also states that Kilwinning Lodge had to appoint Deacons/Wardens to annually test Apprentices and Fellowcrafts in "the airt of memorie and science thairof" or "The Art of Memory and the Science Thereof". This has been said to be a Hermetic technique based on the work of Giordano Bruno in 1584, on Platonic thought and the Art of Memory. Schaw visited Paris shortly afterwards, later in 1584. But used to teach a largely illiterate workforce by symbols and memory. Schaw has been called one of the "Founding Fathers of Speculative Freemasonry" because he brought the first truly "Speculative" element into *operative* masonry which in turn, allowed for the transition from operative to speculative freemasonry William Schaw shares his resting place at Dunfermline with a series of Kings and Queens including Robert Bruce.
In 1775, Bro. Paul Revere and Bro. William Dawes began their famous "Midnight ride:" (which started about 10 pm) to warn American patriots between Boston, MA and Concord, MA of the approaching British. The warning worked. The next day nearly 2,000 dispirited and weary British redcoats straggled back into Boston, surprised by the ferocious response of the colonial minutemen in Lexington and Concord earlier in the day. American silversmith and Revolutionary War Patriot, Bro. Revere was also the first to roll sheet copper in America. He designed he first official seal for the colonies, and produced the first banknotes. From 1794 to 1797 he was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
In 1942, 16 bombers under the command of Gen. and Bro. James H. Doolittle were launched from the decks of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet while the task force was 800 miles from Japan rather than the desired 450 to 650 miles. All the bombers reached the Japanese islands, dropped their bombs on oil stores, industrial areas, and military installations. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought America into the Second World War, but the initial phase of the war in the Pacific was a string of Japanese victories. Eager for at least one American military feat to boost morale, President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered a bombing attack against the main island of Japan. Because there were no U.S. airfields within striking distance, the plan called for bombers to take off from an American aircraft carrier within 450 to 650 miles of Japan, bomb selected targets in Yokohama and Tokyo, and then fly another 1,200 miles to friendly airfields on mainland China. In keeping with the daring plan, a U.S. task force, including the carrier Hornet with 16 bombers on board, was steaming towards Japan on April 18, 1942. Unfortunately, a Japanese patrol boat was sighted, and although it was sunk by U.S. gunfire, it was decided to launch the bombers at once in case the patrol boat had been able to radio a warning to Japan. So, the 16 bombers were launched while the task force was 800 miles from Japan rather than the desired 450 to 650 miles. Under the command of Bro. . Doolittle, all the bombers having dropped their bombs headed out across the East China Sea. But as night approached and the planes began running low on fuel, the crews realized they could not reach the airfields in China. One plane managed to divert to Vladivostok, where its crew was interned by the Russians. Most crash-landed in China, where the fortunate ones were rescued by friendly Chinese villagers. When news of the Doolittle Raid was released, it did indeed boost American morale, and it caused the Japanese to transfer back home fighter units that might otherwise have been used against the Allies. It also won Jimmy Doolittle a Congressional Medal of Honor and promotion to the rank of brigadier general. But the Doolittle Raid had disastrous consequences for the Chinese. In May 1942, the Japanese army in China launched a major operation to secure Chinese airfields and to punish villages, which may have sheltered Doolittle's airmen after the raid. In the course of that operation, the Japanese army murdered tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians in the Chekiang and Kiangsu provinces. Bro. Doolittle was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his effort. He had received all three of his Masonic degrees from Hollenbeck Lodge No. 319, Los Aneles, CA, on august 16, 1918; 32nd degree AASR (SJ) in San Diego Consistory on December 14, 1918; and 33rd on October 19, 1945.
In 1775, the American Revolution began as fighting broke out at Lexington, MA and the British fired "the shot heard 'round the world." More than Forty Masonic lodges were active at the outbreak… During the Revolution the Craft was divided with prominent Masons on both sides. Support for, or opposition to, the struggle became a matter of individual Masonic conscience. Of the 55 signatories of the Declaration of Independence, only nine were unquestionably Masons, and of the 55 delegates who signed the Constitution of the United States in 1789, only 13 were, or were to become, Masons. On the other hand, many of the most prominent members of the Revolution were members of the Craft — Bro. George Washington; Bro. Benjamin Franklin; Bro. Paul Revere; Bro. John Paul Jones; Bro. John Hancock; Bro. the Marquise of Lafayette and many others.
In 1951, Gen. and Bro. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President and Bro. Harry S Truman, bid farewell to Congress, quoting a line from a ballad "popular" in the British trenches in the First World War. "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."Bro. MacArthur was made a Mason "at sight" by Bro. Samuel Hawthorne, Grand Master of the Philippines, on January 17,1936. He affiliated with Manila Lodge No. 1, Manila. He received the 32nd degree, Scottish Rite at Manila the same year. And he became a life member of the Nile Shrine Temple, Seattle, WA. He died in 1964.
In 1884 Pope Leo XIII published an encyclical, Humanum Genus against Freemasonry based upon the hoax by Leo Taxil.
In 1836, on the banks of the San Jacinto River in Texas General and Bro. Sam Houston's Texans decisively defeated the Mexican forces led by Santa Ana in the final battle between Texas and Mexico in which Texas won its independence. A 570-foot monument dedicated to the battle today marks the spot on the banks of the San Jacinto river about 20 miles from the present City of Houston. After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, the population of the Mexican region known as Texas began to increase with an influx of Anglo-Americans from further east. Most of these immigrants were from the southern states, and brought black slaves with them. Since Mexicans were opposed to slavery, tensions occurred over the issue. In 1835 Mexican soldiers were sent to Texas to end unrest over laws prohibiting slavery, but the settlers defeated the Mexicans. In 1836, when the conflict escalated, the Anglo-American Texans declared themselves a republic, independent from Mexico, and made Sam Houston commander-in-chief of all Texan forces. The Mexican government sent a force under Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to put down the rebellion. At first Santa Anna's army had the upper hand. They massacred the Texans who were defending the garrison of the Alamo, and chased Sam Houston's rag-tag, undisciplined force of Texas frontiersmen across Texas, almost to the Louisiana border. But at the mouth of the San Jacinto river, near the sight of the present day city that bears his name, Sam Houston ordered an end to the retreat. On April 21, 1836, his 800-man force made a surprise attack on Santa Anna's 1,500-man army. The result was a complete rout. In just 18 minutes of fighting, the Texans killed or captured nearly all of Santa Anna's soldiers, including the general himself. A helpless captive, Santa Anna signed a treaty ending the war and granting Texans their independence from Mexico. Within a year the Republic of Texas, with Sam Houston as its first president, received official recognition from the United States. Eight years later, in December 1845, Texas was admitted to the U.S.as the 28th state.
In 1910, author and Bro. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn. The American author and humorist was born November 30, 1835 at Florida, MO. Among his many famous books are: The Innocents Abroad; Roughing It; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; The prince and the Pauper; The Adventures of Huckaberry Finn; a Yankee at King Arthur's Court and others He was a member of Polar Star Lodge No. 79, St. Louis, MO. He was later suspended from that Lodge but reinstated on April 24, 1867. However, he demitted October 8, 1868 and never again affiliated with any lodge.
On this day and for the next 12 days American Mason celebrate with Brethren of the Baha'i faith the annual Baha'i Festival commemorating the 12 days when Baha'u'llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha'i faith, resided in a garden called Ridvan (Paradise) in Baghdad at which time he publicly proclaimed His mission as God's messenger for the Age.
In 1789, President-elect and Bro. George Washington and his wife Martha moved into the first Executive Mansion, the Franklin House, in New York City. America's First Family left Mt. Vernon on 16 April for Bro. Washington's Inauguration as US President after he had been unanimously selected by the members of the Electoral College to become the first President of the United States of America. He was to be inaugurated on April 30.
In 1791, the 15th President of the United States, Bro. James Buchanan, was born at Gove Gap in Franklin County, PA. He was the only US President who never married and he served only one term in office, March 4 1857-March 3, 1861. Bro. Buchanan was initiated into Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, PA on December 11, 1816, passed and raised there January 24, 1817. On December 13, 1820 he was elected Junior Warden and on December 7, 1822, unanimously elected master. On December 27 of 1823 he became his district's first District Deputy Grand Master. He was exalted to the Royal Arch degree in Chapter No 42 in Lancaster, PA. When he died at Lancaster June 1, 1868, his Lodge on June 4 gave him a Masonic funeral that saw four thousand persons in attendance.
In 1953, British statesman Bro. Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Born Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill in 1874 he crowned his distinguished career in politics and literature as Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II, when his leadership inspired Britain and the free world in the struggle to defeat Nazism. In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was initiated in Studholme Lodge No. 1591, London, in 1901, and raised in Rosemary's Lodge No. 2851 in 1902. He died in 1965.
In 1792, highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be executed by the guillotine named after Bro. Joseph Ignace Guillotin. Although named after Bro. Guillotin, rumors that he invented the death machine and was the first to die by it are untrue. As a member of the French Assembly he did argue for a more humane method of meting out capital punishment, and for a machine that would make this possible. Bro. Guillotin was one of the founders of the Grand Orient of France. He was also a member of the famous Parisian Lodge of the Nine Sisters. He died in Paris on March 26. 1814.
In 1898, US President and Bro. McKinley ordered a blockade of Cuba after Congress passed a joint resolution declaring the United States to be at war with Spain as of April 21. This was to be the first major conflict of the US since the Civil War in 1865. President and Bro. McKinley also called for `125,000 volunteeres for the army. The sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor two months earlier had angered this otherwise gentle, conservative Midwesterner.
In 1737 in Putney, Surrey, England , was born Bro. Edward Gibbon, English historian, who became famous for his "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." He spent 16 years compiling this monumental work, the first volume of which was published in 1776, and the last in 1788. He became a member of Friendship Lodge No. 6, London, England, in March 1775.
In 1810, (Bro.) Ludwig Beethoven, regarded among the very greatest of composers, dedicated the composition known as "Fur Elise," (Bro. ) Beethoven, an awkward, rather gruff man, lacking in social graces and further afflicted with deafness, carried on unsuccessful courtships with several women, but never married or found the romantic happiness he desired. Among the women whom he failed to charm was Therese Malfatti, who was introduced to (Bro.) Beethoven when she was 21. Historical evidence indicates that (Bro.) Beethoven proposed to her in 1809 and was rejected. The following year (Bro.) Beethoven composed a short, light piece, one of the 25 bagatelles he published at various times in his career. The brief album leaf on the composition bears (Bro.) Beethoven's handwritten dedication, which was read as, "for Elise on April 27,1810." Based on that reading of the dedication, the composition was known as "Fur Elise," and it is under that name that the short piece has become one of the world's most widely known melodies. However, recent research has shown that "Fur Elise" is a (Bro.) Beethoven's handwritten dedication, which actually reads, "Fur Therese," in honor of Therese Malfatti. Some doubt (Bro) Beethoven's membership in the Craft. it is given credence through his mentor ship by the renowned Bro. Joseph Hayden who took the young prodigy under his wing in Vienna and, it is believed, introduced him to Freemasonry.
In 1758, was born at Westmoreland County, VA, Bro. James Monroe, who was to become fifth President of the United States. He served two terms in that office (March 4, 1817- March 3, 1825. Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia, is named after him, as is the Monroe Doctrine, which he enunciated December 2, 1823, at Washington, DC. He was the last of three Presidents to die on Independence Day. Bro. Monroe died at New York City, July 4, 1831. Bro. Monroe was initiated in Wiliamsburgh Lodge 6 at Williamsburgh, Virginia, when he was hardly 18 years old. He stopped studying to leave for the battle front in the American Revolution. He became Fellowcraft and Master Mason at St. John's Regimental Military Lodge during the war.
In 1899, born in Washington , DC, was one of the most influential individuals in jazz history - Bro. Edward Kennedy Ellington, better known to the world of music simply as "Duke" Ellington. Bro. Ellington's professional career began when he was 17, and by 1923, he was leading a small group of musicians at the Kentucky Club at New York City, which became the core of his big band. Bro. Ellington was credited with being one of the founders of the Big Band swing era. Counting Broadway shows, big band pieces, film scores, opera and religious music, .Bro. Ellington was responsible for more than 1,000 musical pieces. On April 29, 1969 Duke Ellington was the guest of honor at a White House dinner. The occasion was to celebrate the composer, pianist, and band leader's 70th birthday and to present him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. At the dinner an all-star group of musicians played a few of the many Ellington compositions that have become jazz standards. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was the crowning honor to an internationally celebrated musical career that included 11 Grammy Awards and 19 honorary doctorate degrees. Bro..Ellington was initiated in Social Lodge No. 1, Washington, DC. Prince Hall Affiliation. His impressions of initiation were heralded in his song, "I'm beginning to see the light," sung and made into a hit by Bro. Louis Armstrong. Bro. Ellington died in New York City, May 24, 1974.
In 1927, construction of the "Spirit of St. Louis" was completed. Flown by Bro. Charles Lindbergh in the first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight, the plane was completed in two months at a cost of $10,580. It was named in honor of Bro. Lindbergh's financial supporters in St. Louis, Missouri. The "Spirit of St. Louis" was donated to the Smithsonian Institution.
In 1789, Bro. George Washington was inaugurated as first President of the United States at New York City under the new US Constitution. Bro. and Chancellor Robert R. Livingston administered the oath of office to Bro. Washington on the balcony of Federal Hall at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets. On this day each year New York Grand Lodge and its member Lodges re-enact the inauguration on the steps of Federal Hall, in New York City.
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