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The following trivia is presented by written permission of Bro. Ray Dotson, PM
Jerusalem Lodge #95, AF&AM of Hookerton, NC whose research found these items.

Added July 3, 2010

When Brothers Richard E. Byrd and Bernt Balchen first flew over the North and South Poles, they dropped a Masonic flag on each Pole.  Then, in the 1933-35 expedition, Brother Balchen tossed his Shrine Fez on the North Pole.

The town of Keystone, near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, was named by a gold prospector in 1877 for his York Rite Chapter watch charm.

Resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in January, 2005

1st Session
H. RES. 17

January 4, 2005

Mr. GILLMOR (for himself and Mr. KINGSTON) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform


Recognizing the thousands of Freemasons in every State in the Nation and honoring them for their many contributions to the Nation throughout its history.

Whereas Freemasons, whose long lineage extends back to before the Nation's founding, have set an example of high moral standards and charity for all people;

Whereas the Founding Fathers of this great Nation and signers of the Constitution, most of whom were Freemasons, provided a well-rounded basis for developing themselves and others into valuable citizens of the United States;

Whereas members of the Masonic Fraternity, both individually and as an organization, continue to make invaluable charitable contributions of service to the United States;

Whereas the Masonic Fraternity continues to provide for the charitable relief and education of the citizens of the United States;

Whereas the Masonic Fraternity is deserving of formal recognition of their long history of care-giving for the citizenry and their example of high moral standards; and

Whereas Freemasons have always revered and celebrated St. John's Day, June 24th, as dedicated to their patron saints: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives recognizes the thousands of Freemasons in every State in the Nation and honors them for their many contributions to the Nation throughout its history.


"The Character of a Freemason"
From the Farmer's Almanac, 1823
Andover, Massachusetts

The real Freemason is distinguished from the rest of Mankind by the uniform unrestrained rectitude of his conduct. Other men are honest in fear of punishment which the law might inflect; they are religious in expectation of being rewarded, or in dread of the devil, in the next world. A Freemason would be just if there were no laws, human or divine except those written in his heart by the finger of his Creator. In every climate, under every system of religion, he is the same. He kneels before the Universal Throne of God in gratitude for the blessings he has received and humble solicitation for his future protection. He venerates the good men of all religions. He disturbs not the religion of others. He restrains his passions, because they cannot be indulged without injuring his neighbor or himself. He gives no offense, because he does not choose to be offended. He contracts no debts which he is certain he cannot discharge, because he is honest upon principle."

Thanks to "THE TRESTLE BOARD" Cochran Masonic Lodge #217 F&AM Cochran, Georgia, USA

In China, about 300 B.C., Mencius wrote "A master Mason, in teaching his apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of Wisdom, must also make use of the compasses and the square." Additionally, in a book called Great Learning, 500 B.C., we find that "A man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do unto him; and this is called the principle of acting on the square."

Added April 7, 2010

According to Solomon's Lodge No. 1, F. & A. M. in Savannah, Georgia, founded February 21, 1734 by the English Statesman, philanthropist and Freemason Br. James Edward Oglethorpe, it is the oldest Continuously Operating English Constituted Lodge of Freemasons in the Western Hemisphere. Solomon's Lodge has in its possession a 1733 John Baskett Bible which was actually signed and given to the Lodge, during its earliest days, by Oglethorpe the founder of the Colony of Georgia." 

In 1860 in Limerick, Ireland, there was found in a small chapel a stone dated 1517 with the following inscription: "I will serve to live with love & care, upon the level, by the square." - Alphonse Cerza, Masonic Service Association, 1934

The Commissioner of Patents In 1872 ruled that the Masonic Square and Compasses emblem could not be used in any trademark or trade name for commercial purposes. - Alphonse Cerza, Masonic Service Association, 1934

In 1920, Gate City Lodge #522 in Kansas City MO met every day of the week except Sunday to confer a record 1,107 degrees, averaging 21 degrees a week.  -  History of Freemasonry in Missouri," Missouri Lodge of Research.

Lux in Tenebris Lodge # 3856 in London is for blind Masons.  The Latin words mean "Light in Darkness." -  Alphonse Cerza, Masonic Service Association, 1934

By Ancient custom, the King was always covered while his subjects were never covered in his presence.  The American custom of the Master of the Lodge wearing a hat as a symbol of his authority is apparently a result of that ancient custom. -  "One Hundred One Questions about Freemasonry" Masonic Service Association, 1955..

Well known actor Jack Carson was the first of five candidates to receive the Entered Apprentice degree at Cecile Daylight Lodge #305 in Independence, MO in 1936.  He was taught the proficiency while the other four candidates were being initiated.  By his request, he then returned his Entered Apprentice proficiency that same evening, even examining himself.  He gave a perfect proficiency. -  Missouri Lodge of Research.

While stationed in Louisiana during WW I, preparing to go overseas, Major General James H. Doolittle, under special dispensation issued by the Grand Lodges of both California and Louisiana, was elected to membership in Hollenbeck Lodge #319 of California and initiated, passed, and raised in one meeting in Lake Charles Lodge #16 of Louisiana.  A recent storm had wrecked the Lake Charles Masonic Temple and the degrees were conferred in the local Elks Temple, loaned for the purpose. -  Southern California Research Lodge F&AM.

The first registered livestock brand in Montana was the Square and Compasses dating back to before May 25, 1872 when brands were first registered.  It is still in use today.  - Wisconsin Masonic Journal 

In 1952, eighty-nine percent of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices were Freemasons. - "10,000 Famous Freemasons", William R. Denslow  

As commanding General at the fall of Savannah, Brother John W. Geary placed federal troops around Solomon's Lodge #1 to save it from looting and damage. - "Masonic Trivia and Facts", Allen E. Roberts.

The Masonic (Square and Compasses) ring is not an official item of Masonic Jewelry.  General consensus seems to be that if the wearer wishes to advise others that he is a Master Mason, then he should wear the ring with the Compasses points toward the fingertips.  If the ring is worn to remind the wearer that he is a Master Mason, then he should wear it with the compasses points toward the wrist. - "One Hundred One Questions about Freemasonry" Masonic Service Association, 1955. 

Brother "Buzz" Aldrin, a member of Clear Lake Lodge #1417 in Texas, when he stepped onto the surface of the moon, carried a special deputation from his Grand Master to claim the moon as being in the territorial jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas. - "Fraternal Review", Southern California Research Lodge F&AM. 

When asked how he came to be a Mason, President McKinley explained:
"After the battle of Opequam, I went with the surgeon of our Ohio regiment to the field where there were about 5,000 Confederate prisoners under guard.  Almost as soon as we passed the guard, I noticed the doctor shook hands with a number of Confederate prisoners.  He also took from his pocket a roll of bills and distributed all  he had among them.  Boy-like, I looked on in wonderment; I didn't know what it all meant.  On the way back to camp I asked him:

'Did you know these men or ever see them before?'
'No,' replied the doctor, 'I never saw them before.'
'But,' I persisted, 'You gave them a lot of money, all you had about you.  Do you ever expect to get it back?'
'Well,' said the doctor, 'if they are able to pay me back, they will.  But it makes no difference to me; they are brother Masons in trouble and I am only doing my duty.'
"I said to myself, 'If that is Masonry, I will take some of it myself.' " -
"The Truth is Stranger than Fiction," by Alphonse Cerza, Masonic Service Association, 1934.

"to that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns." 
Exact wording used in Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1 by William Shakespeare.  (Not a Mason).  "Bourn", meaning "boundary" is now an obsolete word except in literature and Masonic ritual.