In the Middle Ages, the term "freemason" was awarded to highly skilled stonemasons who were hired as free agents to build castles and cathedrals in England and Scotland. Because of the inherent danger of their work, stonemasons formed local organizations, called lodges, to take care of sick and injured members as well as the widows and orphans of those who were killed on the job. The first Grand Lodge was established in 1717 in London. In 1718, English Freemasonry spread to France and Spain, and after 1729, to India, Italy, Poland and Sweden. Freemasonry spread to the other parts of Europe and eventually made its way to the American colonies. In 1733, the first American lodge was established in Boston, under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England. Of the 39 men who signed the U.S. Constitution, 13 were Masons.
A legacy of philanthropy
Throughout their 150 year history, the California Masons have remained steadfast in their commitment to helping others and serving the community. They have volunteered hundreds of thousands of hours and donated millions of dollars to support a wide range of charitable programs. Among the fraternity's first charitable activities was helping victims of the great cholera outbreak in Sacramento in 1850. Three Lodges, with a combined membership of 69 men, raised more than $32,000 to help build and maintain a hospital at Sutter's Fort.
PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES
Buchanan, James Ford, Gerald R. Garfield, James A. Harding, Warren G. Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Andrew McKinley, William Monroe, James Polk, James Knox Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Taft,William Howard Truman, Harry S. Washington, George
Arnold, General Henry "Hap" - Commander of the Army Air Force Bradley, Omar N. - Military leader Doolittle, General James - Famous Air Force Pilot Jones, John Paul - First Admiral of the US Navy MacArthur, General Douglas - Commander of Armed Forces in Philippines Marshall, George - General of the Armies Montgomery, Richard Major General - First General Officer of the Continental Army Murphy, Audie - Most decorated soldier of WWII. Pershing, John Joseph - Decorated American Soldier Rickenbacker, Eddie - Great American Air Force Ace
Cobb, Ty - An original member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Combs, Earle Bryan - Baseball Hall of Fame Naismith, James - Inventor of Basketball Palmer, Arnold - Golf Pro
Clemens, Samuel L. - Mark Twain - writer Doyle, Sir Author Conan - Writer - Sherlock Holmes Gable, Clark - Actor Kipling, Rudyard - Writer Rogers, Roy - American cowboy and screen star Shakespeare, William - Writer Voltaire - French writer and philosopher Wayne, John - Actor
Clark, Roy - Country Western Star Key, Francis Scott - Wrote US National Anthem Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus - Composer Smith, John Stafford - Wrote the music that became the US National Anthem. Sousa, John Philip - Led the US Marine Band from 1880 - 1892
Churchill, Winston - British Leader Diefenbaker, John G. - Prime Minister of Canada 1957-63 George VI - King of England during W.W. II Marshall, John - Chief Justice US Supreme Court 1801 - 1835 Marshall, Thurgood - Supreme Court Justice
Aldrin, Edwin E. - Astronaut Armstrong, Neil - Astronaut Glenn, John H. - First American to orbit the earth in a space craft Grissom, Virgil - Astronaut
Austin, Stephen F. - Father of Texas Bowie, James - Alamo Clark, William - Explorer Cody, "Buffalo Bill" William - Indian fighter, Wild West Show Colt, Samuel - Firearms inventor Crockett, David - American Frontiersman and Alamo fame Henry, Patrick - Patriot Lewis, Meriwether - Explorer Revere, Paul - Famous American Travis, Colonel William B. - Alamo
OTHER FAMOUS MASONS Bartholdi, Frederic A. - Designed the Statue of Liberty Beard, Daniel Carter - Founder Boy Scouts Borglum, Gutzon & Lincoln - Father and Son who carved Mt. Rushmore Dunant, Jean Henri - Founder of the Red Cross Ford, Henry - Pioneer Automobile Manufacturer Hoban, James - Architect for the US Capital Hoover, J. Edgar - Director of FBI Land, Frank S. - Founder Order of DeMolay Mayo, Dr. William and Charles - Began Mayo Clinic Penny, James C. - Retailer Warner, Jack - Warner Brothers Fame
For the Latin American, St Martin was a mason
Sources of Information
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