The Masonic Trowel

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In 1782, Bro. Joseph Michael Montgolfier and Bro. Jacques Etienne Montgolfier, of Annonay, France, conducted experiments which led to the invention of the hot-air balloon, man's first flight and the entire science of aviation and flight. The brothers, both Freemasons, were inspired by Joseph Priestley's book Experiments Relating to the Different Kinds of Air. They experimented with filling paper and fabric bags with smoke and hot air, leading to the invention of the hot-air balloon; Their first flight was made in 1783, followed by another at Paris watched by a crowd of 300,000., which included Bro. Benjamin Franklin. The Bros. Montgolfier were initiated in Lodge Les Neuf Soeurs, at Paris, in 1784.

In 1861, General George B. McClellan was made general-in-chief of the Union armies by US President Abraham Lincoln. He directed the peninsula campaign in 1862, and commanded at Atietam in September, 1862. He was replaced by General Burnside in hat year. In 1864 he came Democratic candidate for President but was defeated by Lincoln. Bro. McCellan received all three degrees in Freemasonry on December 9, 1853, in Willemette Lodge No. 2, Portland, OR, by special dispensation of the Grand Master. Bro. McClellan died October 29, 1885.

In 1922, the cornerstone of the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia was laid using Bro. George Washington's trowel.

November 2

In 1795 was born at Mecklenburg County, N.C. the man who was to become the 11th President of the United States - Bro. James Knox Polk. His term of office ran from March 4, 1845 to March 3, 1849. Bro. Polk, who was a compromise candidate at the 1844 Democratic Party National Convention, was awarded the nomination on the ninth ballot. He declined to be a candidate for a second term and declared himself to be considerably relieved at the completion of his Presidency. He died shortly after at Nashville, TN in June 15, 1849. Bro. Polk was initiated, passed and raised in 1820 at Columbia Lodge 21, Columbia, TN. He was Junior Deacon in 1820 then Junior Warden of the same Lodge. He was also a member of the Mark and Royal Arch.

In 1865 was born at Corsica, OH Warren G. Harding, the man who was to become the 29h President of the United States. His term of office began March 4, 1921, and lasted until August 2, 1923, when he died suddenly while on a western speaking tour. His undistinguished administration was tainted by the Teapot Dome Scandal. He was initiated June 18, passed August 13, and raised August 23,. 1920. He became an honorary member of Albert Pike Lodge 36 at Washington, D.C. in 1921. He was also a member of the Mark and Royal Arch, a Knight Templar and a 33-degree Mason of the Scottish Rite. He was the first President to become a Shrine Mason.

November 3

In 1793 Wythe County,, VA was born Bro. Stephen Fuller Austin, a principle founder of the state of Texas its capital city was named. Bro. Austin first visited Texas in 1821 and established a colony there the following year, continuing a colonization project started by his father, Moses Austin. thrown into prison when he advocated formation of a separate state (Texas still belonged to Mexico) he was freed in 1835. he lost a campaign for the presidency (of the Republic of Texas) to Bro.; Sam Houston in 1836. Bro. Austin died while serving as Texas Secretary of State at Austin, TX, December 27, 1836.m Bro. Austin was initiated into Louisiana Lodge 109 at St. Genevieve, MO, in 1815.

In 1908 William Howard Taft, Freemason, was elected 27th President of the USA .

November 4

George Washington was initiated into Freemasonry on this day in Fredericksburg Lodge in Virginia.

In 1850 Albert Pike received his Master Masons degree in Western Star Lodge No. 2, Little Rock, Arkansas.

In 1879 born to part Cherokee Clement Vann Rogers and his Cherokee wife, Mary, in Claremore, OK, the last of the couple's eight children - Will Rogers, named after a prominent Cherokee chief. He was seven years old when he became No.11384 on the authenticated rolls of the Cherokee Nation. Will grew up learning to ride a horse as he was learning to walk. He learned rope tricks form a ranch hand. He did well in everything he touched except school, rarely lasting more than three months in any but the last - a girl's seminary in Muskogee where he spent most of his time lassoing girls. He drifted for several years and returned home in 1904 to perform at the World's Fair in St. Louis. He petitioned Claremont Lodge 53 and received the degrees on February 18, 1905, March 10 and 13, 1906. On April 16, 1908 he received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of McAlester. By 1908 he had become a highly paid vaudeville performer with successful tours throughout the United States and Europe;. Bro. Will joined Akdar Shrine temple in November 20,. 1914, and by 1915 he was a regular in the Ziegfield follies. He next went into the movies, became a writer and philanthropist, giving freely to the Red Cross,. the Shrine Children's Hospitals and to orphan homes He arranged and performed at numerous benefits for victims of natural disasters, made large contributions to the blind and donated his entire salary for his 1933 radio broadcasts to The Salvation Army and The Red Cross. Bro. Will loved to fly. He first flew in 1915. He flew with Bro. Charles Lindbergh. and Bro. Eddie Rickenbacker. So when fellow Oklahoman Wiley Post invited Bro. Rogers to accompany the record-setting pilot on a trip to Russia via Alaska, Bro.Will accepted. On August 15, the little plane took off from the river 15 miles north of Point Barrow and almost immediately crashed into the river bank. An Eskimo family saw the crash and reported the death of the two flyers Bro. Will had written earlier: "When I die the writing on my gravestone is going to say, 'Never met a man I didn't like.' I'm so proud of that I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.'" He did and it was.

November 5

In 1782 Masonic author Dr. George Oliver was born on this day.

In 1912 "King of the Cowboys" Roger was born Leonard Slye at Cincinnati, OH. His many songs included "Don't Fence Me In," and "Happy Trails To You." He made his acting debuting "Under Western Stars": in 1935 and later hosted his own show, "The Roy Rogers show," in 19561. Bro. Rogers died at Apple Valley, CA, July 6, 1998. Bro. Rogers was a member of Hollywood Lodge 355, Hollywood, CA.

November 6

In 1854 was born in Washington, D.C., the Mason who was to become America's "March King" for such rousers as "The Stars and Stripes forever," "Semper Fidelis,"" El Capitan,"Nobles of the Mystic Shrine," ":Washington Post" and others. From 1880 to 1892 he led the band of the US. Marine Corps and later his own band. "The March King" exerted a tremendous influence on martial music.; He was a member of Hiram Lodge 10 at Washington, DC. Bro. Sousa died at reading, PA. March 6 1932.

In 1861 was born James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. He died at Lawrence, KS November 28, 1939. Basketball became an Olympic sport in 1936.

In 1876 the Order of the Eastern Star first General Grand Chapter formed in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In 1982 The Grand Lodge of Spain was founded on this day.

November 7

In 1805, after a perilous journey of nearly 4,000- miles, Bro. Meriwether Lewis and Bro. William Clark and their expedition across the US arrived at the Pacific Ocean. The expedition left Fort Mandan on the upper Missouri River on April 7 in six canoes and two large piroques. Bro. Clark was variously a member of Virginia City Lodge No. 1, Morning Star Lodge No. 5, Helena, and Deer Lodge No. 14, Deer City, MT.. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Montana in 1877. Bro. Lewis was raised at Door to Virtue Lodge No. 44, Albermarle County, VA in 1797. Door to Virtue went dark in 1801 and Bro. Lewis transferred to Staunton Lodge, Staunton, VA where he received the Royal Arch degree. Thanks Bro. Ed Verdi for the tip.

In 1935 Franklin Delano Roosevelt's sons James and Franklin D. Jr. joined Freemasonry. They were initiated in Architect's Lodge No. 519. Roosevelt was not present.

November 8

In 1731, Bro. Benjamin Franklin laid the cornerstone for the foundations for a library which developed into the Philadelphia Public Library, the first public library in America. He was raised at St. John's Lodge of Philadelphia to begin an auspicious Masonic career. Thanks Bro. Ed Verdi for the tip.

In 1848 The first lodge charted in Indian Territory was on this date  and was named Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation U.D. #21.

November 9

In 1920 J. Edgar Hoover was raised in Federal Lodge No. 1 Washington, DC..

November 10

In 1483 at Eisleban, Saxony, was born the Augustan monk Martin Luther, a founder and leader of the Reformation and of Protestantism. Luther tacked his 95 thesis on "the Power of Indulgences" to the door of Wittenberg's castle church on October 31, 1517, the eve of All Saints Day . These called for a reformation of the abuses by the Roman Catholic Church which got him excommunicated. He was known to have been a member of the "guild at Steinmetzen" in Germany, rumored to be then a Masonic Lodge in disguise. He died near his birthplace on February 18, 1546.

In 1892 The Grand Lodge of Oklahoma was formed

November 11

In 1966,. Gemini 12 blasted off from Cape Kennedy., Fl. with astronauts James A. Lovell and Bro. Irwin (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. On this the final flight for Gemini, Bro. Aldrin space-walked for 5 1/2 hours on November 15,. after an Agena link-up. Bro. Aldrin was initiated in Montclair Lodge 144, Montclair, New Jersey

On 1975, Justice and Bro. William O. Douglas Retires from the Supreme Court. Appointed in 1939 to the US Supreme Court by President and Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Justice and Bro. William O. Douglas was the longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history when he retired on November 12, 1975. In his more than 36 years of service, he was known for his commitment to the rights of the individual and his distrust of unrestrained government power. A conservationist and nature-lover, he was a powerful advocate for environmental protection.

November 12

In 1894 the foundation stone of the Detroit Masonic Temple was laid. This Temple would be replaced by the present Temple, the largest in the world, which replaced it in 1926.

November 13

Bro. Ben Franklin wrote, "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."

November 14

In 1957 Audie Murphy received his 32nd Degree in Dallas.

November 15

In 1957 Audie Murphy joined the Shriners in Hella Temple, Dallas Texas.

November 16

In 1865 The Supreme Council assembled in Charleston to resume labors after the end of the Civil War.

November 17

In 1925 The first Grand Master's Conference was held on this date in Chicago.

November 18

In 2004 five lodges were instituted and consecrated by the Grand Lodge of Ireland into The Sovereign Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Malta (SGLoM).

November 19

In 1971, the Long Beach Scottish Rite Bodies honored Audie Murphy by naming their class of 124 candidates the Audie Murphy Memorial Class. Murphy's film, "To Hell and Back" was shown instead of the 31st Degree.

November 20

In 1910 Leo Tolstoy, author of "War and Peace" died. Tolstoy was not a Freemason, but his aforementioned book had many Masonic references in it.

November 21

In 1838 The Grand Lodge of Arkansas was established.

November 22

In 1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Many conspiracy sites blame the Freemasons for his murder.

November 23

In 1830, Lucinda Pendleton-Morgan, the widow of William Morgan, married George Washington Harris, a former member of Batavia lodge who had been expelled from the lodge in 1826 for unmasonic conduct.

November 24

In 1961 The Grand Lodge of India was formed in New Delhi, India.

November 25

In 1813 the articles of Union of the United Grand Lodge of England were signed.

November 26

In 1737 the first anti-masonic document surfaced in the American Colonies in the form of a critical letter published in the New York Gazette.

November 27

In 1983, Canon 1374 of The Code of Canon Law, which replaced Canon 2335 of the 1917 codification was established. While not specifically affecting Freemasonry, it read as follows:

"One who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or moderates such an association, however, is to be punished with an interdict."

Commentary issued the same day stated:

"While the former excommunication of Catholics who joined Masonic societies has not been repeated in this Code, a sanction can be imposed on those who join associations that work against the Church, and an interdict can be placed on those who promote or run such groups. Whether Masons fall within these strictures must now be determined by authorities within the particular churches."

November 28

In 1884 Quator Coronati, the world's first and foremost Masonic research Lodge received its warrant.

November 29

In 1992 Author John J. Robinson (Born in Blood) spoke at the Grand Lodge of Missouri. He was a guest of the Education Committee. Robinson did not become a Freemason until after his third book, "A Pilgrim's Path."

November 30

In 1874 Winston Churchill was born. Although Churchill attended lodge regularly, he never held Masonic office.

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Last modified: July 05, 2014