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In 1891 a teacher of physical education at the YMCA Training School a Springfield, MA wanted to create an indoor sport that could be played during the winter months Canadian-born Bro. James Naismith nailed up peach baskets at opposite ends of the gym and gave students soccer balls to toss into them. Thus ws born the game we know as basketball.

Highland Park, Michigan. At first, the assembly line was meant for the production of magnetos, but it is soon expanded to build the entire automobile. The time to produce a Model-T was reduced from 12 hours to 93 minutes. This bought the motor car within the reach of the average man. Bro.. Ford was raised in Palestine Lodge 357, Detroit, MI, in 1894.

In 1941 the Director of Civilian Defense, New York City Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia signed a formal order creating the Civil Air Patrol, a US Air force Auxiliary. The CAP had a three-part mission; to provide an aerospace education progrom , a CAP cadet program, and an emergency services program. Bro. LaGuardia was initiated in Garibaldi Lodge 542 in New York City in 1913.

In 1945 Bro. Burl Ives made his concert singing debut at Town Hall in New York City. Bro. Ives would go on to become a beloved cultural icon, well known as the voice of Frosty the Snowman in the animated TV production of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer." The inscription on the Burl Ives monument in Mound Cemetery, Jasper County, Illinois, best summarizes the life and accomplishments of this great man and Mason. It reads: One of America's legendary entertainers whose career spanned more than a half century crossing all international borders. Equally at home before the royalty of Europe and the farm folk of Midwestern U.S.A. A performer whose unique style adapted to all media Literary, Radio, Movies, Recordings, Night Clubs Broadway and Concert Stage Carl Sandburg hailed him "The mightiest ballad singer of this or any other century." He lives on through his art. June 14, 1909 April 14, 1995. Appropriately, the passing of Ill. Bro. Ives was marked by a memorial service held, under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of F..&A..M.. of California on May 4, 1995, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Los Angeles. Also, following graveside services by the Reverend Stephen Willis, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of New- ton, Illinois, the officers of The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of A.·.&F.·.A.·. Masons of the State of Illinois assembled on May 15, 1995, at Mound Cemetery to conduct a memorial service of the Craft for Brother Ives as a courtesy to his home Lodge, Magnolia-La Cumbre No. 242, of Santa Barbara, California. The remains of Bro. Ives were then placed in the grave. An extensive article on Bro. Ives appears in the October, 1996, Scottish Rite Journal of Freemasonry, the Southern Jurisdiction.


In 1823 Bro. James Monroe as President of the U.S. , in his annual message to Congress , enunciated the doctrine that has his name and that long was hailed as a statement of U.S., policy. "In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part ...and we would consider an attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety..." Not too well known is the role his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams played as co-author and inspiration for the Doctrine that bears Bro. Monroe's name. Other milestones of the fifth President of the US was the acquisition of Florida (1819), and the Missouri Compromise ( 1820) in which Missouri was declared a slave state. Bro. Monroe was initiated in Williamsburg Lodge 6, at Williamsburg, VA, when he was hardly 18-years-old. Ha stopped studying and left for the battle front to become a Fellowcraft and Master Mason in a military lodge during the war.

On his day in 1901 American Bro. King Camp Gillette , inventor and manufacturer, patented the first razor with disposable blades. Until that time men shaved with straight edged razors which they sharpened on a leather strap which served the dual purpose of spanking naughty boys. For 30 years Bro. Gillette was president of the Gillette Safety Razor Company.

In 1985 was first started the holiday lights festival which marks the beginning of winter and symbolically unites the nation. The provinces and territories will all simultaneously light their own legislative buildings today as part of Christmas Lights Across Canada. In the national capital of Ottawa, more than 150,000 lights will be illuminated each night until January 9.


In 1586, according to some historical accounts, Sir Thomas Herriot and Bro. Sir Francis Drake introduced the potato to England via the northern region of South America (today Colombia). It is known that widespread planting of the potato started as early as the 11th century by the Tiahuanaco civilization (Peruvian Andes). Bro. Drake, according to Arthur Waite's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, was "chosen Junior warden of the Grand Lodge of all England, when the ancient Lodge at York assumed that title in 1725. The Grand Lodge became dormant but was revived in 1761, and aft er more than 40 years, Bro. Drake was elected Grand Master. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society."

In 1828, backed by the fledging Democratic Party, Bro. Andrew Jackson was elected seventh president of the US. He defeated sitting president John Quincy Adams. Bro. Jackson, a hero of the Battle of New Orleans, polled 187 electoral votes to 89 for Adams, the son of a former President;. While neither man campaigned formally, their backers turned the campaign into a vicious one To win Bro.; Jackson had to overcome the forces of the anti Masonic party which had succeeded in darkening two thirds of the Masonic Lodges in America. His election triggered a national comeback for Masonry. Bro. Jackson received the three Craft degrees from St. Tammany Lodge 23 which became Harmony lodge No. 1 at Nashville, TN, October 1822 to October 1824. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. from 1822 to 1823. Bro. Jackson was an honorary member of Federal Lodge No. 1 at Washington, D.C. and was also a Royal Arch Mason.


In 1783 Bro. and General George Washington bid farewell at a private gathering of his officers at Fraunces Tavern in downtown New York City. At that gathering, Bro..Washington, with tears in his eyes, embraced each man, then silently strode out of the room; He was to appear before the Confederation Congress on 23 December to officially resign as Commanding General of the Continental Armies.

In 1816, Bro. James Monroe was elected as fifth President of the United States. the 58 year-old Virginian won the electoral votes of 16 states, far outdistancing Federalist Rufus King of New York who won only three states. Bro. Monroe was to take office in March of the following year, succeeding James Madison. Bro. Monroe was initiated in Williamsburg Lodge 6 at Williamsburg, Virginia, when he was hardly 18 years old. He stopped studying to leave for the battle front; He became Fellowcraft and Master Mason in a military lodge during the war.


In 1791 musical composer and recognized genius Bro. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria at age 35. The Austrian's musical genius shines through all of his works, and his Masonic enthusiasm is reflected in a number of compositions - most dramatically in "The Magic Flute" which was first performed shortly before his death in 1791, For years he had lived off the charity of his Masonic Brethren but was penniless at his death and had to be buried in a pauper's grave. Bro. Mozart was initiated in 1784 in Lodge Zur Wohltatigkeit, in Vienna.

In 1792 Bro. George Washington, running virtually unopposed, was unanimously reelected President of the United States. His fellow Federalist John Adams, the incumbent Vice President, came in second in the electoral vote and was thus also reelected to his post, Bro. Washington did not want a second term. But because of a conflict between two members of his cabinet - Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, both of whom wanted the job - Bro. Washington decided the republic would; best be served if he remained in office until the political situation cooled.

In 1848 President James K. Polk gave his annual message to Congress. News of the discovery of gold in California had reached the east coast of the U.S. on April 15, , but only a few hundred people responded by heading out west. More than half a year later, on December 5, Bro. Polk, in his speech, confirmed that gold had indeed been discovered in California. It was this "official" announcement that triggered the Gold Rush of 1849. An estimated 90,000 hopeful miners made the difficult six-month overland trip to California that year. America's 11th President was initiated, passed and raised in 1820 in Colombia Lodge 21, Columbia, TN. He was Junior Deacon in 1820 then Junior Warden of that same Lodge. He was also a member of Mark and Royal Arch.


In 1948 Bro. Arthur Godfey took the radio show he hosted to television. On this talent show celebrity guests introduced amateur and young professional acts. It ws a weekly show until 1958. For several years beginning in 1960 it was a summer replacement series called "Celebrity Talent Scouts," and "Hollywood Talents Scouts." Pat Boone, Shari Lewis and the McGuire Sisters got their start here. Bro. Godfrey, born 1903, was a member of Acacia lodge No. 18 in Washington, D.C.

In 1973 Bro. Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president under Richard Nixon, following the resignation of Spiro Agnew who pled "no contest" to a charge of income tax evasion. Bro. Ford was raised on May 18, 1951 in Columbia Lodge No. 3 at Washington DC by proxy of Malta Lodge where he had been initiated September 30. 1949.


In 1842, the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, the New York Philharmonic - also the most highly regarded - offered Bro. Ludwig Beethoven's Fifth Symphony for its first public performance. Bro. Beethoven's work had first been performed in the U.S. only three years earlier. In its 158 years, renowned conductors such as Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowsky, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, and Zubin Mehta, have led the New York Philharmonic. It has made many recordings and toured in North and South America, Europe, and Russia. Although there is no definite record of Ludwig van Beethoven's becoming a member of the Craft, there are very strong grounds for believing that he was a mason. Many of his friends and fellow musicians were masons and there are several references to Masonry in his voluminous correspondence. The Adagio of his Seventh quartet bears the superscription: 'A weeping willow or an acacia over the grave of my brother'. Both Beethoven's blood brothers were alive when the work was written and so these words probably had a Masonic connection. Schindler, one of his biographers, mentions a handshake when visiting the composer: '... a grip of our hands said the rest'. A song, 'What is the Mason's aim', was written for the "Loge des Frères Courageaux à l'Orient de Bonn" and published in 1806.


In 1831, Bro. James Hoban, the Irish-born architect who designed the US President's Executive Mansion, later known as The White House, died at Washington, DC. Bro.. Hoban was born at Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1762. The Cornerstone for The White House, Washington's oldest building, was laid by Freemasons in 1792. Bro. Hoban after the War of 1812 also supervised the 1815 renovation of The White House. He was a founder of Federal Lodge No. 1 in Washington, D.C.




In 1901 Bro. Jean Henri Dunant, of Switzerland, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for having founded The International Committee of the Red Cross. He was awarded the Prize with Frederick Passy of France, founder of the French Society which sought peaceful arbitration between nations in conflict. Bro. Dunant, a humanitarian, dedicated the volunteer relief body he created to the care of those wounded in war. Bro. Dunant conceived of the idea of the Red Cross when organizing emergency aid for soldiers wounded at the Battle of Solferino in 1859. The Nobel Prize which Bro. Dunant shared with Passy was the first to be awarded by the newly formed Nobel Committee. On the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prizes are established. Nobel, an owner of profitable oilfields, the inventor of dynamite, and an ardent pacifist, left instructions in his will that the awards be given every year to those who "have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind" in six fields (a seventh is added in 1968).

In 1906 President and Bro. Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping to mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War. The 26th President of the US was a member of Matinecock Lodge 806 at Oyster Bay, NY. He was made an honorary member of Pentalpha Lodge 23 at Washington, DC where he took part in many Masonic activities.


In 1882 was born in New York City Bro. Fiorello Henry LaGuardia who became better-known as "The little Flower" while Mayor of New York City. While Mayor he took to reading "the funnies" to radio listeners during the city's newspaper strike. He said of himself: "when I make a mistake, i's a beaut." He served three terms as Mayor of New York City and with distinction as a diplomat. He was initiated in New York City's Garibaldi lodge 542 in 1913. Born in New York City, he died there September 20, 1947.

In 1936, Bro. Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, King Edward VIII, abdicated the British throne to "marry the woman I love," twice-divorced American Wallis Warfield Simpson. Bro. Edward was born at Richmond Park, England, June 12, 1894. and became Prince of Wales in July, 1911. He ascended to the English throne on the death of his father, George V, on January 20, 1936. But the coronation never took place, his having abdicated to marry Simpson in France, June 3, 1937. Bro. Edward was named Duke of Windsor by his brother-successor George VI. The Duke died at Paris, May 28, 1972, but was buried in England, near Windsor Castle. King Edward VIII was initiated in the "Household Brigade Lodge 2614 in 1919, the Duke of Connaught (then Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England) performing the ceremony. He was Provincial Grand Master of Surrey from 1924 until 1936, retaining his membership in a lodge in England until his death in 1972.


In 1851 in Statesburg, S.C., Bro. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the Mason who introduced the South American plant named for him into the U.S., died. Dr. Poinsett, a career diplomat (first US Ambassador to Mexico) , member of Congress and Secretary of War, was born aa Charleston, S.C. March 2, 1799. Bro. Poinsett , an amateur botanist, developed the Poinsettia which has since become a favorite Christmas season plant.


The Jewish Temple on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, originally built during the reign of King Solomon, stood from 950 to 587 BC, when the Babylonians, who exiled the Jews to Babylon, destroyed it. After their return from Babylon, the Jews were determined to build a new temple. Supported by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, they laid the foundations for the Second Temple on December 13, 519 BC (24 Kislev, 3241 in the Jewish calendar). Completed four years later, the Second Temple stood more than a half millennium, until the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD.


In 1799 our Brother, General George Washington passed away at his home in Mount Vernon, VA. Two days earlier he had made a tour on horseback of his farm in cold, snowy weather wherein he caught a severe cold. On his return his wife Martha found him to suffering a chill and high temperature. She sent for his doctor who arrived accompanied by two others. Bro. Washington in high fever could hardly speak, his throat being blocked. The doctors - all but one - administered the traditional cure at the time - leeches to "bleed" the general free of his throat congestion; They continued to remove considerable blood in hopes of relieving his distress and reducing the fever. The congestion remained. One doctor - the youngest - recommended a tracheotomy but was overruled. Bro. Washington, historians, agree might have been saved by a tracheotomy, instead of literally being bled to death. And so (prematurely) died Bro. Washington, most honored American, father of his country, and Freemason who was 20 years, eight months and 12 days old, when he was initiated on November 4. 1752 in Fredericksburg Lodge (now known as the Lodge at Fredericksburg) , then passed March 3, 1753, and raised August 4, at about the same time he became a Major and Adjutant in the Virginia Militia.

In 1896 American aviator and World War II hero Bro. James Harold Doolittle was born at Alameda, CA. A Lt. General in the Army Air Force, he was the first person to fly across North America in less than a day. On April 18, 1942, Bro. Doolittle led a squadron of 16 B-25 bombers launched from aircraft carriers, on the first US aerial raid on Japan of world War II. The bombers hit Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe. After the strike all 16 planes headed for China where they came down on darkened airfields. Damage to Tokyo was slight but the raid provided a great morale booster. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this accomplishment. Doolittle also headed the 8th Air Force during the Normandy invasion. He died September 27, 1993, at Pebble Beach, CA.

In 1911 Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole, beating out an expedition led by Bro. Robert F. Scott . On his second voyage expedition (1911-1912) Bro. Scott reached the South Pole just five weeks aft er the Norwegian. But on the return journey Bro. Scott perished with his entire party. From diaries recovered later it became clear that members of the party displayed outstanding heroism. Bro. Scott was a member of Drury Lane Lodge 2127, London.

In 1929, the Tom Thumb golf course, named after Bro. Tom Thumb of circus fame, opened in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Various forms of miniature golf enjoyed considerable popularity in the U.S. from early in the 20th century. For the most part, people improvised their own courses with homemade obstacles. Standardized, patented, and franchised, Bro. Tom Thumb miniature golf courses rapidly spread across the country. Within two years, three thousand Tom Thumb courses were purchased for an original investment of $4,500 each. This "Miniature Golf Gold Rush" occurred at the height of the Great Depression. Bro. Tom Thumb measured 40 in. and weighed 70 pounds which some thought made him the smallest Mason ever. But he was not - that distinction fell to Bro. Vance Smith who was only 26 in. tall and weighed but 34 pounds when he was raised at Pythagoras Lodge 355 in New Albany, IN on March 3, 1943.


In 1954 Walt Disney premiered TV's first mini-series of five segments on his Disneyland show. The show starred Fess Parker as American western hero Bro. Davy Crockett and was immensely popular. The show spawned Crockett parapanelia including the famous coonskin cap. He gained immortality when he fell at the Alamo during the Texan struggle for Independence. Disney himself had been a senior DeMolay who did not enter the Craft.


In 1770 at Bonn, Germany, was born Bro. Ludwig Van Beethoven, regarded by many as "the greatest orchestral composer of all time." Impairment of his hearing began before he was 30. But even total deafness did not halt his composing and conducting . His last appearance on the concert stage was to conduct the premier of his Ninth Symphony, at Vienna, on May 7, 1824. He was unable to hear either the orchestra or the applause. Some believe Ludwig van Beethoven was never a Mason. While this legend remains much alive, nobody has yet brought a proof that Beethoven ever joined a Lodge. In one Masonic building in Liege, Belgium, they even show a Beethoven bust among prominent Masons. Some years ago a French musical expert claimed the tune in such and such quartet proves that he was a Mason. Although there is no definite record of Ludwig van Beethoven's becoming a member of the Craft, there are very strong grounds for believing that he was a mason. Many of his friends and fellow musicians were masons and there are several references to Masonry in his voluminous correspondence. The Adagio of his Seventh quartet bears the superscription: 'A weeping willow or an acacia over the grave of my brother'. Both Beethoven's blood brothers were alive when the work was written and so these words probably had a Masonic connection. Schindler, one of his biographers, mentions a handshake when visiting the composer: '... a grip of our hands said the rest'. A song, 'What is the Mason's aim', was written for the "Loge des Frères Courageaux à l'Orient de Bonn" and published in 1806. Often in love, Beethoven never married Of a stormy temperament, he is said to have died during a violent thunderstorm, March 26, 1827, at Vienna.

In 1773 shortly after 6 pm a number of .Boston "Indians" - Boston Masons disguised as Indians - boarded three British vessels at anchor at Boston Harbor to dump 300 chests of tea into the harbor to protest British taxes. An unconfirmed report had it that Bro. John Hancock was a leader of the raiding party. The action was critical to provoking America's War for Independence.

In 1950, in a radio broadcast, Bro. Harry S Truman told the American people he needed extraordinary powers to overcome the great crisis facing the country brought about by the Korean War. Bro. Truman promised that the United States would continue to fight to preserve the principles of the United Nations - "the principles of justice and freedom" - but to build up our armed forces and those of our allies. The proclamation allowed him to build the nation's defense capabilities gradually rather than order full-scale mobilization.


In 1830, Bro. Simon Bolivar, the "George Washington of South America" died in Colombia. Born in 1783 in what is now Venezuela, Bro. Bolivar led the 20-year-struggle to liberate the countries that make up much of the eastern seaboard of South America from Spanish rule. Bro. Bolivar joined the Craft at Cadiz, Spain, and in 1807 entered the Scottish Rite and the Knights Templar in Paris. In 1824 he founded the Lodge Order and Liberty No. 2 in Peru.


In 1886, famed American baseball player Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb was born at Narrows, GA. He died at Atlanta, GA July 17, 1961. His lifetime batting average of .,367 was compiled over 24 years during which he played in more than 3,000 games. He was initiated in Boyston Lodge 426, Detroit, MI, in 1907.


In 1732, using the pen name of Richard Sauders, Bro. Benjamin Franklin published the first issue of "Poor Richard's Almanack." This annual publication continued for many years and was widely known for its wit and wisdom. This later became the popular "Saturday Evening Post" magazine. American statesman, scientist and philosopher, Bro. Franklin began his working life as a printer in Philadelphia where in 1927 he founded the future American Philosophical Society. His many inventions include street lighting, a heating stove, bifocal reading glasses, and the lightening rod He was initiated in 1731 in St. John's Lodge, Philadelphia, PA, and remained an enthusiastic mason throughout its life. A year after Benjamin death his autobiography entitled "Memoires De La Vie Privee...," was published in Paris in March of 1791. The first English translation, "The Private Life of the Late Benjamin Franklin, LL.D....Originally Written By Himself, And Now Translated From The French," was published in London in 1793. Known today as "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," this classic piece of Americana was originally written for Franklin's son William, then the Governor of New Jersey. The work portrays a fascinating picture of life in Philadelphia, as well as shrewd observations on the literature, philosophy and religion of the time. Franklin wrote the first five chapters of his autobiography in England in 1771, resumed again thirteen years later (1784-85) in Paris and later in 1788 when he returned to the United States. Franklin ends the account of his life in 1757 when he was 51 years old. It is considered to be the greatest autobiography produced in Colonial America.

In 1777: Gen. and Bro. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter. Neither a valley (just a few small hills) nor a forge (though an iron works once stood there) Valley Forge was simply a bleak terrain 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Bro. Washington brought his men there expecting to find supplies provided by Congress which the British had earlier discovered and removed. Half the troops were without blankets, another third without shoes, stockings or breeches. Bro. Washington wrote Congress a warning that unless there were new supplies of food and clothing, the army must "starve, dissolve or disperse."


In 1803 the French tricolor was lowered in New Orleans and the stars and Stripes raised in is place, thus symbolizing the transfer of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States. Bro. James Monroe negotiated the purchase for $15-million after President Thomas Jefferson had sent him to France to see if Bro. Napoleon Bonaparte, then Emperor of France, would be willing to deal. He was - and did, in a deal that doubled the territorial size of the United States for a miniscule sum. even for the time.

In 1881 in Lucasville, OH was born Bro. Wesley Branch Rickey, Baseball Hall of Fame player, manager and executive. Bro. Rickey was baseball's most innovative general manager . He invented the farm system, instituted unique training and teaching methods and, most prominently, signed Jackie Robinson to play major league baseball with the then Brooklyn Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1967 and died at Columbia, MO December 9, 1965. Bro. Rickey was initiated into Tuscan Lodge 360, St. Louis, MO.


On this day at sunset our Jewish Brethren begin their eight-day Feast of Lights (or Feast of Dedication) commemorating the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians in 165 BC, and rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem.


In 1943 Bro. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was recognized as the major African-American intellectual of his era. The first African-American to graduate from Harvard, he went on to become a professor of economics, history, and sociology, a revolutionary advocate of equal rights for African- Americans, and the author of numerous influential literary works. He led an intellectual revolt against the prevailing idea that African- Americans should gradually "earn" better treatment by improving themselves and demonstrating their worthiness. Instead, he insisted that they should demand equal economic and social status as their right. The election of Bro. W.E.B. Du Bois to the National Institute of Arts and Letters was the first for an African-American, and a confirmation of his important position in American intellectual life. This educator/scholar was also co-founder of the NAACP.


In 1783 - two months after the final battle of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown - General and Bro. George Washington resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army. The ceremony before the Continental Congress was awash in tears. After his speech before Congress Bro. Washington returned to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia. On his way home, he encountered throngs of grateful well-wishers. On his arrival home there were candles in the windows ad his wife, Martha, awaiting him at the doorway.


In 1809, Christopher "Kit" Carson, frontiersman, soldier, trapper, guide and Indian agent, was born at Madison County, KY. Because he was familiar with Indian languages he was largely instrumental in bringing about many of the treaties between the Indian tribes and the US government. He entered the Craft in Montezuma Lodge 109 , at Taos, New Mexico. Bro. Carson died at Fort Lyon, CO May 23, 1868.

In 1814 he United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty Of Ghent, ending the 2 1/2 year War Of 1812. Unfortunately, communications in those days were not as good as they are today. News of the treaty did not reach the US in time to prevent the Battle of New Orleans, which took place the following month. . Located just 100 miles upstream from the mouth of the Mississippi River, the Crescent City offered a tempting prize to a British military still buoyant over the burning of Washington, D.C. To capture the city, Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane fitted out a naval flotilla of more than 50 ships to transport 10,000 veteran troops from Jamaica. They were led by Sir Edward Pakenham, the 37-year-old brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington and a much-decorated general officer. For protection, the citizens of southern Louisiana looked to Major General and Bro. Andrew Jackson, known to his men as "Old Hickory." Bro Jackson's victory saved New Orleans, but it came after the war was over. The Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 but resolved none of the issues that started it, had been signed in Europe weeks before the New Orleans action .




In 1776, Bro. George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the American Army, led a division of 2,400 troops across the Delaware river at Trenton, NJ, to a stunning victory over 1,200 Hessians in a battle that lasted an hour and a half. Two weeks earlier Bro. Washington had retreated across the river in the opposite directio, pursued by Lord Cornwallis' 12 regiments. Bro. Washington's men crossed the river nine miles above Trenton. He had guessed correctly that the Hessians would still be in bed recovering from their Christmas drinking parties when he attacked. The Americans routed one outpost after another . When Bro. Washington attacked his men were virtually frozen, their feet wrapped in blood-stained rags. The victory proved a major morale booster and was immortalized in an 1851 painting by artist Emanuel Leutze "Washington Crossing the Delaware."

In 1941, Bro. Winston Churchill became the first British Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of the US Congress. English statesman, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill crowned a distinguished career in politics and literature as Prime Minister during World War Two when his leadership inspired Britain and the free world in the struggle to defeat Naziism. In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Bro. Churchill was initiated in Sudholme Lodge 1591, London, in 1901, and raised in Rosemary's Lodge 2851 in 1902.

In 1972, Bro. Harry S Truman, 33rd President the United States, died in a Missouri hospital. He was born May 4, 1884. Bro. Truman was initiated February 9, and raised March 18, 1909 in Belton Lodge 450, at Belt on, MO. He served as Junior Warden of that Lodge 1940-1941. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri as well as a Knight Templar and had been awarded a 33 degree in the Scottish Rite.


Saint John the Evangelist Day / Winter Solstice

In 1927, tired of the shallow entertainment provided by the Broadway musical theatre of the time, composer Bro. Jerome Kern and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II opened their more serious musical on Broadway. It was "Show Boat", based on a novel by Edna Ferber about life on the Mississippi River. Treating such serious social issues as racial prejudice, mixed marriage, and illegitimacy, "Show Boat" was also the first Broadway musical to weave songs into a complex plot. Among the most influential musicals of the century, "Show Boat" ran for 572 performances at Ziegfeld Theatre. There have been numerous revivals and film versions as well. Among the memorable songs: "Only Make Believe"; "Old Man River"; "Bill"; "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man…"




In 1808 was born the 17th President of the US, Bro. Andrew Johnson, at Raleigh, NC. Bro. Johnson was proprietor of a Larens, SC tailor shop before entering politics and becoming Vice President under Abraham Lincoln. On Lincoln's assassination he became President and the first US President to be impeached. He was acquitted March 26, 1868 by the Senate. After his term of office as President he made several unsuccessful attempts to win public office, finally to be elected US Senator from Tennessee. He served from March 4, 1875, until his death at Carter's Station, TN, July 31, 1875., Bro. Johnson was initiated, passed and raised at Greenville Lodge 19 at Greenvale, TN, in 1851. A Knight Templar, he was also the first President who took up the degree of the Scottish Rite in which he received the 32nd degree in June, 1867.

In 1809 – Albert Pike, author of Morals and Dogma was born,  d. April 2, 1891 (aged 81).


In 1865, in Bombay, India, was born the Mason who was to become acclaimed an English poet, novelist and short story writer as well as Nobel Prize Laureate - Bro. Rudyard Kipling. Bro. Kipling was best known for his children's' books such as "The Jungle Book," "Just So Stories," poems such as "The Ballad of East and West" and "If." After working as a journalist India he traveled around the world ten end married an American with whom he lived for many years in Vermont. Bro. Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. Much of his writing contains Masonic allusions (notably "Kim," and "The Man Who Would Be King." "The Mother Lodge" is [probably the most quoted of all Masonic poems. He was initiated in Hope and Esperance Lodge 782, Lahore, India in 1887. On settling in England he became founder of two Lodges - Builders of the Silent City (in 1927), and Authors' Lodge. He was appointed poet laureate of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge at Edinburgh. Bro. Kipling died at London, England, January 18, 1936.

In 1896, Dr. and Bro. Jose Rizal, a national hero in the Philippines, was publicly executed by a firing squad. Rizal's martyrdom helped inspire Filipinos to rally for independence from Spain. Rizal was a patriot, physician, and writer who worked for nonviolent reform. Bro. Rizal, "The George Washington of the Philippines" was a patriot, poet, novelist, physician, and active Mason. He became the leader of the Propaganda Movement, contributing numerous articles to its newspaper, La Solidaridad, published in Barcelona. Rizal's political program, as expressed in the newspaper, included integration of the Philippines as a province of Spain, representation in the Cortes (the Spanish parliament), the replacement of the Spanish friars by the Filipino priests, freedom of assembly and expression, and equality of Filipinos and Spaniards before the law. Against the advice of his parents and friends, Rizal returned to the Philippines in 1892. He found a nonviolent reform society, La deported to Dapitan, in northwest Mindanao, an island south of the Philippines. He remained in exile for four years, doing scientific research and founding a school and hospital. In 1896, the Katipunan, a nationalist secret society, launched a revolt against Spain. Although he had no connections with that organization or any part in the insurrection, Rizal was arrested and tried for sedition by the military. Found guilty, he was publicly executed by a firing squad in Manila. His martyrdom convinced Filipinos that there was no alternative to independence from Spain. On the eve of his execution, while confined in Fort Santiago, Rizal wrote Mi Ultimo Adios ("My Last Farewell"), a masterpiece of 19th-century Spanish verse. Today one finds monuments to Rizal nearly everywhere in the Republic of the Philippines.30 December is celebrated each year in The Philippines as a national holiday - Jose Rizal Day. Jose Rizal was raised in Acacia Lodge #9, Spain. The following year he joined a lodge in Paris France. He is credited with the establishment of the Lodge "Filipina" in the Philippines, and was the Venerable Master of Lakandola Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite. After his execution he had Masonic and Governmental services and a full Masonic regalia funeral procession between the two.


Brother and General Richard Montgomery was killed early in the morning this date in the attack on British fort at Quebec City. His death marks the first general officer of the US Army [Continental Army] to be killed in battle. He was married to Janet Livingston the sister of Robert Livingston well known to New York Masons. His death caused a crisis in the American congress as his victories taking all the British forts from Ticonderoga up Lake Champlain and then on to Montreal gave our Congress a sense of assumed success. The name of Richard Montgomery then became a battle cry and its use became the basis for a successful propaganda effort. "Remember Richard Montgomery" became the battle cry. Wives at home made blankets and prepared bandages for the war effort under the slogan; "Remember Richard Montgomery" Thomas Paine prepared a tract using the death of the hero to justify total independence from England which was distributed in May of 1776 and said by some to have inspired the Declaration of Independence. Montgomery had been a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge #3 in Albany, New York. On 8 July 1818 the remains of Bro Montgomery arrived by steam vessel at the battery in lower Manhattan and were carried in a funeral procession up Broadway to St. Paul's Chapel in Trinity churchyard. The procession was the greatest since the death of Bro. George Washington, nineteen years earlier, and attracted five thousand marchers and was headed by our Vice President. The remains are in a crypt not too many steps from the resting place of Alexander Hamilton and General and Bro. Horatio Gates which is across the street from City Hall in lower Manhattan. Lodges in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Pennsylvania were named after this early American hero. Bro Montgomery, was born December 2, 1776 in Swords, Ireland. His father was a member of the British parliament. He was educated at Trinity college in Dublin. He entered the English army at the age of 18 and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia when 21 to participate under Wolfe in the siege of Louisburg, the campaign around Lake Champlain and the fall of Montreal in 1760. After the French and Indian War he returned to England and resigned his commission. In 1773 he returned to New York and took residence at a farm in Kingsbridge across the Harlem River from Manhattan. He was a member of the 1st provincial congress in N.Y.C in 1775. When the Continental Army was formed in June of 1775 and George Washington became its commanding general Montgomery was chosen as one of his first generals.

In 1931 at Uniontown, PA was born the father of the Marshall Plan and the man who was Chairman of the newly formed joint chiefs of staff during World War II - George Catlett Marshall. Bro. Marshall accompanied Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when US President, and represented the US at most Allied war conferences., He served as Secretary of State and designer of The Marshall Plan for European recovery after World War II for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. Bro. Marshall was made a Mason "at sight" on December 16, 1941, by Ara M. Daniels, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral of the District. Bro. Marshall died at Washington, DC on October 16, 1959.

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