Saturday, October 07, 2006

I DIDN'T KNOW THAT (PART IV)....



How Were/When Were Railroad Lodges Born?

Railroad Lodges were generally found in communities that housed what was called "Section Gangs" on the railroad. These were railroad track men who were responsible for maintaining a section of railroad, and hence, usually were/are found in small communities that, were it not for the railroad, would be called farming communities. These Lodges usually met on Friday nights, since track work generally went on till dusk, and track gangs normally quit early on Friday, giving them enough time to go home, clean up, and have supper before Lodge meeting. I've been in have talked to some fine Masons who are members of "Railroad Lodges." For example, a good friend and Mason who is a member of Gordonsville, VA Lodge once invited me to stated (which I believe was on a Friday evening) with the disclaimer: "It's a Railroad Lodge." Where to look for Railroad Lodges? Find a map of all the railroads in Virginia (or elsewhere), and search for where the old depots were...Most of those towns will have been, or had a Railroad Lodge at some point. City lodges, such as Widow's Sons' #60 in Charlottesville, VA where I am SW, may might have a Railroad Lodge in the background somewhere, but are farremoved from it today. However, many small railroad communities maintain fairly fresh memories of track gangs and the Railroad Lodge. Thanks to Bro. Tim Edwards who grew up in Verona, KY...A section gang town surrounded by farms. His Father railroaded for the L&N Railroad for 30+ years, and Bro. Tim was raised in Verona Lodge, #876, Verona, KY, which was a Railroad Lodge and met on Friday evenings. His y email is: timedwards53@msn.com or fredwtj@ngic.army.mil. Tim Edwards, SW Widow's Son's #60 Charottesville, VA

NY GRAND LODGE OFFERS TOURS OF MASONIC HALL TO GENERAL PUBLIC

Coming to New York City soon? Why not enjoy an escorted tour of New York Grand Lodge and its newly renovated magnificent 1,200-seat Masonic Hall, its Museum and Library, numerous Lodge rooms and other facilities. Included is a short introduction to our New York State and USA MASONIC History. All you need do to arrange a tour is contact , Bro. Steven S. Grant, Tour Guide. What to bring with you? Your family and friends, Masons and non-Masons. You'll want to bring a Camera to take photos you can show to your Brethren back home. If you want to attend a Lodge in session, you'll need a document establishing your Masonic Affiliation, of course. And your Apron which would make a most welcome subject for our local Brothers to see (though we can provide a White Apron before your entrance into the Lodge ). Sound interesting? Need Date, time and place to be mutually acceptable. Tour Office located on the Main floor in "MASONIC HALL," 71 West 23rd Street, corner 6th Avenue, NY, NY. Steven S. Grant, Masonic Hall Tour Guide PDDGM Third MANHATTAN. Masonic District E-mail is: Telephone and FAX # (201)263-0711 (You may call me up to midnight, including Weekends.)

Bro. James Garfield, 20th U.S. President , Second to be Assassinated

Six months after he became president, Ohio's James Garfield was the second American president to be shot while in office. (The first was Abraham Lincoln.) That tragic event had been preceded by a contentious election in which Bro. Garfield had defeated Winfield Scott Hancock by a mere 10,000 votes. During the Republican convention, Bro. Garfield had actively campaigned for his political ally John Sherman. When ballot after ballot failed to nominate apresidential candidate, Bro.Garfield was named as a "dark horse" possibility and finally received the party's support for president on the 36th ballot. In his six months as president, Bro. Garfield fought corruption but encountered significant opposition from Senator Roscoe Conkling, who had taken offense to Garfield's political appointments. When Conkling resigned from the senate in protest, Bro. Garfield's position of power was reinforced, but it wasn't to last. Attorney Charles Jules Guiteau, who had also unsuccessfully sought a government appointment, shot the president at the Washington, D.C. railroad station. Despite attempts to remove the bullet, including the use of an early metal detector developed by Alexander Graham Bell, Bro. Garfield died of blood poisoning several weeks later. Bro. Garfield was initiated November 19, 1864 in Columbus Lodge 246 at Garrettsville, OH, passed the same year and raised in 1864. He ws Chaplain in 1868, and 1869. He was also a member of Pentalpha Lodge 2 at Washington, DC, of the Mark and Royal Arch, and of the Scottish Rite. He was also a Knight Templar. (The Learning Kingdom)

Bro. James Polk - America's first In 1844, many observers expected the Democratic convention to nominate former President Martin Van Buren as its candidate for chief executive. Bro. James Polk had been mentioned only as a potential nominee for vice president. However, Van Buren opposed the annexation of Texas, which lost him support in his battle with Lewis Cass, and Bro. Polk emerged as a compromise candidate when the convention became deadlocked. Ultimately, votes from delegates in the southern and western states resulted in Bro. Polk's nomination in the ninth ballot. A taciturn man, Bro. Polk nonetheless went on to defeat eloquent statesman Henry Clay of the Whig party, who also opposed territorial expansion, to become 11th President of the US. In his single term of office, Polk saw the boundary between Oregon and Canada established by treaty with Britain. He also gained a huge territory through his success in the Mexican War, in which American troops eventually occupied Mexico City until Mexico ceded California and New Mexico, and gave up all claims to Texas. Bro. Polk was iniiated, passed and raised in 1820 in Colmbia Lodge 21, Columbia, TN. He was Junior Deacon in 1820, then Senior Warden of that same Lodge. He was also a member of Mark and Royal Arch. (The Learning Kingdom; Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft)

Bro. Thurgood Marshall,- first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

Bro. Thurgood Marshall's grandfather was a former slave who fought on behalf of the Union Army during the Civil War. His mother was among the first women to graduate from Columbia Teacher's College. And Bro. Marshall himself was a pioneer, becoming the first African-American on the Supreme Court of the United States in 1967. During a lengthy legal career with the NAACP, Bro. Marshall gained significant experience arguing cases before the court on which he one day would serve. In the 32 cases where he was called upon to argue on behalf of defendants or plaintiffs, he was victorious 29 times. Perhaps the most famous of those victories was 1954's Brown vs. The Board of Education, which ultimately resulted in the forced desegregation of schools across America. While on the Supreme Court, Bro. Marshall was often at odds with conservative justices. He became known for his eloquent dissent and sharp wit. Upon his retirement in 1993, he was replaced by Clarence Thomas.

Bro. George M. Cohan inspired the movie

At the age of 16, Bro. George M. Cohan published his first song, "Why Did Nellie Leave Home?" It was his first of hundreds of tunes, some of which would become standards. Bro. Cohan's song list includes popular tunes like "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "Mary's a Grand Old Name," as well as such patriotic anthems as "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There." Twenty-three years later, just before America's entry into World War II, Congress authorized Bro. Franklin Roosevelt to present Bro. Cohan with a gold medal. In addition to song writing, Bro. Cohan was a playwright, producer, and actor. He appeared in "Ah Wilderness" and "I'd Rather Be Right," and wrote plays including "The Little Millionaire," "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," and "The Merry Malones." He was immortalized in 1942 in Hollywood's "Yankee Doodle Dandy," and in 1968 in the Broadway musical "George M!" Bro. Cohan was raised in New York city's Pacific Lodge No. 233 in 1905. He was also an active Shrine Mason. (The learning Kindom)

LONG ISLAND MASONS

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