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In 1801, born at Whittingham VT, was Mormon leader Bro. Brigham Young, who led thousands of religious followers from Nauvoo, IL across 1,000 miles of wilderness to settle more than 300 towns in the west, earning him the name, "the American Moses." When he died at Salt Lake City, UT August 29, 1877, he was survived by 17 wives and 47 children Utah observes as a state holiday the anniversary of his entry into Salt Lake Valley, July 24, 1847. Bro. Young succeeded Bro. Joseph Smith as head of the Mormon Church in 1847. Some confusion exists as to Bro. Young's[ Masonic affiliation But it is known that all the leaders, as well as many of the rank and file Mormons, were members of the Nauvoo Lodges. Bro. Young is also mentioned elsewhere in Mormon and Utah history as a Mason. He is also reported to have been a member of Milnor Lodge No. 139, Victor, New York.
In 1813, the 38-gun British frigate "Shammon" met the 38-gun American frigate "Chesapeake" head on off the coast of Boston, MA and exchanged extremely destructive broadsides. "Chesapeake's" Capt. and Bro. James Lawrence was mortally wounded, and as he was being carried below to die, he pleaded with this men: "Don't give up the ship." Though the Americans were defeated the casualties were heavy on both sides. While it is known that Bro. Lawrence was a Mason, his Lodge membership remains a mystery. However, the Grand lodge of New York did resolve that New York City lodges should assemble to join in the funeral procession for Bro. Lawrence. The "Field Book of the War of 1812" reports he was buried with military and Masonic honors. A New York Lodge chartered May 18, 1814, was named after him. Bro. Lawrence was born October 1, 1781.
In 1897, Bro. Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London, "The report of my death was an exaggeration." The line was afterwards frequently quoted. Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorn Clemens, was a member of Polar Star Lodge No. 79 in St., Louis, MO. At one point he was suspended but reinstated on April 24, 1867. However, he demitted October 8, 1868 and never again affiliated with any Lodge.
In 1888 the famous comic ballad "Casey at the Bat" appeared in the San Francisco Examiner. Though attributed to "anonymous" the author was serious poet Ernest L. Thayer who was paid $5 for the effort that led to most of his other works being forgotten. But it triggered a happy career for Bro. DeWolff Hopper who recited "Casey at the Bat" for the first time at Wallack's Theater in New York City. And no fewer than 10,000 times after that as part of his comic repertoire. The recitation, which made both the poem and himself famous, took five minutes and 40 seconds, and never failed to "bring down the house." Bro. Hopper was raised in Pacific Lodge No 233, New York city, in 1890, and was 32 deg. AASR (NJ), and a member of Mecca Shrine Temple in New York City. He died September 23, 1935.
In 1937, The Duke of Windsor, who as King Edward VIII, had abdicated the British throne on December 11, 1936, was married to Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson of Baltimore, MD at Monts, France. The couple made their home in France after their marriage and had little contact with the royal family. The Duke died at Paris on May 28, 1972, and was buried near Windsor Castle in England. The Duchess died April 25, 1986. Bro. Edward was a member of Household Brigade Lodge No. 2614. He became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England in 1936.
In 1752, Bro. Benjamin Franklin flew a kite for the first time to demonstrate that lightning was a form of electricity.
In 1947 Bro. and US Secretary of State George C. Marshall, speaking at Harvard University, outlined an aid program for Europe that came to be known as the famed Marshall Plan. Bro. Marshall had received many decorations and high honors including the Nobel Peace Preze in 1953. General of the Army and Brother George C. Marshall was the recipient of the New York Grand Lodge Distinguished Achievement Award in 1945 ... the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Mason by this Grand Lodge. The same year this high honor was also presented to Admiral of the Fleet and Brother Ernest Joseph King. Bro. Marshall was made a Mason "at sight" on December 16, 1941 by Ara M. Daniels, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of District of Columbia, ion the Scottish Rite Cathedral of the District. Distinguished leaders from many states were Present . Bro., Marshall's father had been an active Freemason at Allentown, PA, being High Priest of Union Chapter No. 165, (RAM) in 1889. and Commander of Uniontown Commandery No. . 49, (KT) in 1883.
In 1755, born at Coventry, CT was the American patriot , Bro. Nathan Hale. .During the battles for New York in the American Revolution he volunteered to seek military intelligence behind enemy lines and was captured on the night of September 21, 1776. Before British General William Howe, Bro. Hale admitted to being an American officer and was ordered hanged the following morning. His dying words reportedly were: "I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country,." He was hanged September 22, 1776, at what is now the intersection of Market Street and East Broadway, New York City. The Martyred Bro. Nathan Hale was thought to be a member of St. John's Regimental Lodge of New York City. No real proof exists.
In 1799, at Moscow, was born Bro. Alexander Pushkin, Russian poet ("Eugene Onegin," a novel in verse). His "Ode to Liberty" written in 1820, caused his exile to South Russia. But he was back in his government's good graces in 1825 to write the "Life of Peter the Great." Telepneff in his "Russian Freemasonry during the Reign of Alexander I" credits Pushkin as being a Freemason. Bro. Pushkin was killed in a duel on February 10, 1837, in St. Petersburg.
In 1934, US President and Bro. F.D. Roosevelt signed the Securities and Exchange Act that established the SEC. Wall Street had been operating almost unfettered since the end of the 18th Century. But the stock market crash of 1929 necessitated regulation of the Exchanges. The Commission is composed of five members appointed by the President of the US.
In 1776 Bro. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Continental Congress a resolution calling for a Declaration of Independence. He was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1769 and prominent in defending colonial rights. He was a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress when he moved the resolution that "these united colonies are and ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." This was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. Bro. Lee was believed raised in a lodge near Nailers, VA, across the Rappahannock river near Hobb's Hole. He later became a member of Hiram Lodge No. 59, Westmoreland County, VA. He died June 19, 1794.
In 1845, Bro. Andrew Jackson -- a proud Mason who became seventh President of the US -- died at Nashville, NY. He became a national hero when as a major general in the US Army he was ordered to defend New Orleans in the war of 1812.He was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee October 7, 1822, and again in 1823, serving until October , 1824.
In 1915 Bro. William Jennings Bryan resigned as Secretary of State to protest the US handling of the sinking of the Lusitania by Germany. Bro. Bryan was an extreme pacifist. Bro. Bryan was raised on Lincoln Lodge No. 19. Lincoln, NE on April 15, 1902, and later affiliated with Temple Lodge No. 247, Miami, FL. He died in court at Dayton, TN on July 26, 1925, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1770, Bro. and Captain James Cook, as Captain of HMS Endeavor, "Discovered" Australia's Great Barrier Reef by running aground unto it. This renown explorer was killed by natives February 4, 1779 in Hawaii during a scuffle over a stolen boat Though no proof exists of his membership he is constantly referred to as a member of the Craft.
In 1776, the Continental Congress formed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence from Britain. Named to the committee were Virginian Thomas Jefferson, John Adams of Massachusetts; Bro. Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania Bro. Robert Livingston of New York, and Bro. Roger Sherman. of Massachusetts. James Smith, a Dubliner and George Taylor from Belfast were both Delegates from Pennsylvania, and Matthew Thornton, from Dublin, represented New Hampshire. Jefferson is credited with the writing.
In 1923, the magician and Mason Bro. Harry Houdini amazed a large and disbelieving audience as he freed himself from a straitjacket while suspended upside-down 40 feet (12 m) above the ground in New York City. The Hungarian entertainer was famous worldwide for staging the most dazzling and difficult escapes. Bro. Houdin was raised August 21, 1923 in St. Cecile Lodge No. 568 in New York City. He later came a member of Mecca Shrine Temple. He died October 31, 1926.
In 1929 the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated at Cooperstown, NY. More than 200 individuals have been honored for their contributions to the game of baseball by into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Of the first five players to be so honored, four were Freemasons: Bro. Tyrus R. "Ty" Cobb of Royston Lodge No.52, Detroit, MI; Bro. John "Honus" Wagner of Centennial Lodge No. 544, Carnegie, PA; Bro. Christopher "Christie:" Mathewson of New York City's Architect Lodge No. 519. The non Masons were Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth.
In 1777, the French soldier Bro. Marquis de Lafayette (whose given name was Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Montier) landed in the United States to aid the former colonies against Great Britain. His military career spanned five decades, during which he was a French Musketeer, a commander of American troops, and an anti-Bourbon revolutionary leader. He was commissioned a Major General in the continental Army on July 31, 1777. He became an intimate of Gen. and Bro. George Washington. He claimed to have been initiated in the Loge Contrat Social of Paris before he even came to America. He received the chapter degrees in Jerusalem Chapter No. 8 (RAM) September 12, 1824. His son, Bro. George Washington Lafayette received them in the same chapter four days earlier. He was knighted in Morton Commandery No. 4, K.T. and received the Scottish rite degrees in the Cerneau Supreme Council of New York and was made a 33rd degree and Honorary Grand Commander of that body . More than 75 Masonic Bodies in the US have been named after him , including 39 Lodges, 18 Chapters, 4 Councils, 4 Commanderies, and 87 Scottish Rite bodies. He died May 20, 1834.
Each year since 1966 the United States celebrates National Flag wherein the American people are called upon to participate in public ceremonies in which the Pledge of Allegiance is recited. The day was first proclaimed in 1966 by President and Bro. Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1742, in Boston, MA, was born Bro. William Hooper, a signer of the US Declaration of Independence. He was a member of Masonboro Lodge in Masonboro, N.C., which ceased to exist in 1787. He died in October, 1790.
Saint John the Baptist Day / Summer Solstice
In 1717 – Founding of the United Grand Lodge of England.
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Last modified: July 05, 2014