Saturday, October 14, 2006


Bro. James Garfield, 20th U.S. President , Second to be AssassinatedSix 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. Thurgood Marshall,- first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme CourtBro. 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)

Bro. Benjamin Franklin -- one of the America's first spies.Students of history have long respected Bro. Benjamin Franklin as ascientist, statesman, inventor, and diplomat. But, he was also one of the first Americans to actively engage in espionage for his country. During the American Revolution, Bro. Franklin went to France on behalf of the fledgling United States to court the support of the French government. Bro. Franklin appeared to be a harmless emissary of his government, but was actively engaging in propaganda efforts and paramilitary operations to further the cause of American independence. Among his most successful schemes was the creation of a false impression that American and British relations were about to take a turn for the better, prompting France to sign a military alliance with the United States. Bro. Franklin also helped plan the only American attack on the British Isles, and created false news reports thatswayed British public opinion against the war. The CIA has honored Franklin's pioneering acts of espionage: The Learning Kingdom

Bro.. Douglas Fairbanks Sr., (1883-1939) Helped Found United Artists.
In 1916 alone, Bro. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. starred in nearly a dozen successful silent movies. The talented actor, who had made his first film just a year earlier, was commanding the then-enormous salary of about $10,000 a week. Bro. Fairbanks' good looks quickly gained him a loyal following among fans that loved his swashbuckling action films. Among his most notable pictures were "The Mark of Zorro," "The Three Musketeers" (both released in 1921), "Robin Hood" (1921), and "The Thief of Bagdad"(1924). Bro. Fairbanks' career wasn't limited to playing the leading man in early motion pictures. With Charlie Chaplin, Bro. D.W. Griffith and his wife, Mary Pickford, he co-founded United Artists in 1919. Using the pseudonym Elton Thomas, he also wrote a number of scripts for films in which he starred, including "The Black Pirate," "The Iron Mask,"and "The Gaucho." In 1927, Bro. Fairbanks served as the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an organization he had helped found. Bro. Fairbanks was a memveof Beverly Hills Lodge 528, California. Bro. Griffith was a member of St. Cecile Lodge 568, New York City. (The Learning Kindom)

Bro. Matthew Henson, (1866-1955) Co-discoverer of the North Pole
Not honored until decades afterward. An African-American born at Charles County, MD a year after the end of the Civil War, Bro. Matthew Henson was one of the first men ever to reach the North Pole. He accomplished this feat in the company of Admiral Bro. Robert Peary, his longtime partner in exploration. Bro. Matthew Henson was orphaned as a youth. At age 12 he served as a cabin boy on the saiiing ship Kathie Hines. He met Bro.Robert E. Peary while working in a Washington, D.C. store in 1888 and was hired to be Peary's valet. He accompanied Peary on his seven subsequent Arctic expeditions. During the succesful 1908-1909 expedition to the North Pole, Bro. Henson and two of the four Eskimo guides reached their destination on April 6, 1909. Bro.Peary arrived minutes later and verifyed the location. Bro. Henson had accompanied Bro. Peary in a number of prior journeys to both Arctic and equatorial regions. An early trip to Nicaragua cemented their relationship, and the two men spent the next two decades in various attempts to chart points in the far north and reach the North Pole. Because he was black, Bro. Henson shared little of the recognition awarded Bro. Peary. Not until decades later was he honored by the Explorers Club in New York. Henson's account of the expedition, "A Negro Explorer at the North Pole" was published in 1912. In addition to the .Congressional Medal awarded all members of the North Pole Expedition, Henson also received the Gold Medal of the Geographical Society of Chicago and, at age 81, was made an honorary member of the Explorers Club in New York, NY.. After his 1955 death, he was buried in an obscure cemetery in North York, but 32 years later his grave was moved to Arlington National Cemetery, beside that of his old companion, Bro. Robert Peary. Bro. Matthew Henson was initiated on Nevember 5, 1904 in Celestial Lodge No. 3 of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York. (The Learning Kingdom. Chase's.)



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