Below you will find some interesting, unusual & unknown facts about Freemasonry. They come from our book titled "The 100 Facts About Freemasonry" which is available for free below.

 The first permanent Masonic Lodges as we know them today (before the United Grand Lodge of England in 1717) started appearing in the 1600s. These were operative masonic lodges which eventually became solely speculative.
Apart from the first Grand Lodge of England that formed in 1717, there were other Grand Lodges which formed; however, it's the original UGLE that still stands.
 The oldest known Masonic Lodge room is said to be St John’s Chapel in Edinburgh, Scotland (1736).
The oldest known Masonic Lodge room in the United States is “Prentiss House” in Marblehead, Massachusetts (1760).
The oldest Masonic Lodge building is Lodge Hall of Royal Whitehart Lodge No 2 in Halifax, North Carolina (1771).
 Three out of the four original Lodges that first formed the United Grand Lodge of England are still in existence today.
 St. John's Lodge (in Philadelphia) Ledger for the year 1731 is the oldest Masonic Lodge document in existence in the United States
Edinburgh Lodge No. 1 is said to be the Lodge with the oldest records
The first regular and duly noted constituted Lodge in America is St John's Lodge in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 30th, 1733.
 In the United States, if there are 3 or more Lodges in any State or territory with no current Grand Lodge), they may be free to organize one.
The first title of the first “African American” Grand Lodge was “The African Grand Lodge of North America”.
 In 1746, the first Lodge was constituted in Norway in the city of Kristiania (now known as Oslo).
The first Masonic Lodge established in Japan was at Yokohama in 1865 by the Grand Lodge of England. This Lodge was called Yokohama Lodge No. 1092 and was very active for many years.
“The Order of the Eastern Star” appeared on December 28th, 1868, known as Alpha Chapter No. 1. It was established by lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a noted Freemason, but was only adopted and approved as an appendant body of the Masonic Fraternity in 1873.
The highest Masonic Lodge in the world is on top of Cerro de Pasco in Peru, 14,208 feet above sea level. It’s called “The Roof of The World” Lodge No. 1094 under the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
 The highest Lodge in the United States is Corinthian Lodge No. 42 at Kokomo, Colorado. On Oct. 13, 1881, a fire destroyed the biggest part of Kokomo including the Lodge Room. On Jan. 11, 1882, with a special dispensation from Ionic Lodge No. 35, the lodge was convened. A regular meeting was held on Jan. 21, 1882, and business resumed
In the Canal Zone, all land is owned by the US Government, except for one plot, which is a Masonic Temple and stands by the permission of Congress.
 The Symbols of Freemasons (such as the Square & Compasses) come from the operative stonemasons, Cathedral builders, and comacines masters.
Mentions of Masonic symbols can be found in the Bible.
The symbolic covering of a Lodge should be celestial or starry-decked heaven.
The sprig of acacia is used as an emblem in Freemasonry originating from a Jewish custom of planting a branch of acacia vera on the grave.
The beehive is another common emblem of Freemasonry because it reveals the power the collective can achieve when faced with a single task
To prevent errors, some Grand Lodges have replaced the "black-ball" in the voting system with a black-cube, which would be easier to identify in low light.
Due to the voting-in systems of Speculative Masonic Lodges, one can confidently say the "government system" used by Freemasons is democratic.
Freemasonry is said to be “veiled in allegory” because its teachings (and applications of those teachings” are infinite in how they can be applied.
 Geometry and Astronomy are two sciences that hold special reverence by Freemasons worldwide.
The now infamous term "A Beautiful System of Morality, Veiled in Allegory and Illustrated by Symbols" was coined by Samuel Hemming, the first Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England.
 The term "Mystic Tie" stands for the Spiritual tie not easily broken, a fellowship amongst Masons.
Charles Lindbergh, an American aviator, military officer, author, and inventor always wore a square and compasses on his jacket “for good luck”.
 Contrary to popular belief, the Great Seal of The United States has no Masonic significance.
The Royal Arch Year is calculated by adding 530 to the current year.
 Solomon, one of Freemasonry's most prominent figures, was born ~997BC to David and Bath-Sheba. He then became King Solomon ~977BC
The name Solomon actually means peace. King David (King Solomon's Father) gave him this name in anticipation of the peaceful years to follow.
 The infamous Solomon's temple was actually King David's idea. Unfortunately, since David was a man of war, he was not permitted to build it; thus, he gave the task to his son King Solomon.
The construction of King Solomon's Temple started when King Solomon was just 25 years old.
 The name of the stonemasons who worked on King Solomon's Temple were called "Sons of Light".
Hiram Abiff (another prominent figure in Freemasonry) is a "widow's son" from the tribe of Naphtali who came to aid King Solomon in the construction of his new temple.
 When the temple was completed, King Solomon brought over the Ark of the Covenant from his father's house and placed it inside a special inner room named Kodesh Hakodashim (Holy of Holies.) When the priests emerged from the holy place after placing the Ark there, the Temple was filled with a cloud, "for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord".
The Temple of Solomon is said to have been situated on top of Mount Moriah, and it took approximately seven and a half years to build. It then stood for an additional 435 years before it was destroyed forever.
Solomon's Temple was eventually destroyed in 586BC by King Nebuchadnezzar, during his siege on Jerusalem.
Originally, the ritual was not called "the ritual"; it was called "the work" because it was the preservation of the activities, practices, and customs of the Operative Masons.
 There are five rites in the American System of Freemasonry: The Ancient Craft, the Royal Arch, Cryptic Freemasonry, The Templars, and the Scottish Rite.
 The first 3 degrees (EA, FC & MM) as we know them today were not always there. It was only till about 10 years after the first Grand Lodge formed that the three degrees came to be, and finally, the fourth degree (the Royal Arch Degree) was added.
 There are 3 known ways one can become a Freemason. These are by association, by becoming an "honorary member" or by being elected and initiated
  The “Scottish Rite” was formed in the United States in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 31st, 1801. The “Supreme Council at Charleston,” as it was sometimes called, was the first Supreme Council of the 33° in the world.
The name ‘Scottish Rite” came from one of the degrees founded in France called “Scottish Masters”. When the Supreme Council was organized in Charleston, the name ‘Scottish Rite” was adopted.
Many of the “Scottish Rite” degrees were actually adopted from other rites and orders.
 The original Constitutions of the Scottish Rite were (supposedly) written by Frederick II (The Great) King of Prussia. Frederick was an enlightened thinker, Monarch, and Freemason who labored to end censorship and instituted many other reforms to the benefit of humanity
The “Scottish Rite” held its headquarters in Charleston until it was moved to Washington DC in 1870. This is now called ‘House of the Temple”.
 The 33° of the Scottish Rite can only be conferred by outstanding merit, not by petition. The degree is conferred on members who have made major contributions to society or to Masonry in general.
The difference between operative masons and speculative masons is that speculative masons, what we call today the Freemasons, were non-working masons who were also admitted to operative lodges as "honorary members". The first record of a non- operative Mason being allowed into a Masonic lodge is in ~1645.
Operative Masons used to also meet in Lodges; this continued until the Speculative Masons and their Lodges became more and more common, eventually leading to the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717.
Modern Freemasonry is called speculative Freemasonry because it is a speculative science from an operative artform. Speculative by definition means "engaged in, expressing, or based on conjecture rather than knowledge."
 Modern-day “Knight Templars” are not to be confused with the medieval Knight Templars. There is no evidence these two are connected in any way.
The first American-born Freemason is said to be Jonathan Belcher, who was made a Freemason in 1704 while on a visit to England
The first President of the United States was George Washington, and he was also a Freemason.
Most of the participants of the Boston Tea Party were actually Freemasons. It is believed they had been secretly planning the raid for many months inside Masonic Lodges.
The first African American Freemason was none other than Prince Hall. He was also given the honor of being the first Grand Master of the Negro Grand Lodge (which was later renamed to a more appropriate Prince Hall Grand Lodge).
Thirty-one of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons.
 According to rumors/unconfirmed sources, 17 US Vice Presidents were also Freemasons. If true, this puts the tally higher than the 15 US Presidents who were also Freemasons.
Every US President who came from Tennessee was a Freemason (Presidents Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and James K. Polk).
For reasons unknown, Thomas Mortimer from Nebraska was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason degree 34 years and 10 months after his Entered Apprentice degree making it the longest wait between degrees currently known.
The cornerstone of the Statue of Liberty in New York was laid by William A. Brodie, a Scots-American businessman and Grand Master of Masons of New York on the 5th of August, 1884.
 Mason City in Iowa (originally known as Shibboleth) is a city founded by several Freemasons.
Thomas J. Shryock of Maryland held his office for a record 33 years. He also died whilst in office.
 In 1947, eleven Caldwell Brothers made their 12th Brother a Master Mason in Corinthian Lodge No. 96 in Ontario, Canada.
J.A. Bonner was Master of Eureka Lodge No. 1060, and so were his six sons.
 In 1940, a Master Mason degree was delivered at 750 feet below sea level in the Morton Salt Mine at Grand Saline, Texas by Grand Saline Lodge No. 1269.
An actual King (King Kalakaua of Hawaii) once acted as a Tyler when the 29th and 30th degree of the Scottish Rite were conferred in his own palace.
 Vance Swift was a Made a Mason by Pythagoras Lodge No. 355 at 26 years of age. He was 29 inches tall and weighed 34 pounds at the time
James E. Payne was made a Master Mason in Washington DC at 92 years old. This is the oldest recorded age of becoming a Freemason (thus far).
Arthur Smalley received his first section of his Master Mason degree when the Lodge went on refreshment, and in the meantime, authorities had shut down the building for unknown reasons. This resulted in the first known case of a “two and a half degrees”. The other half of the degree was given two weeks later.
The Fourth Duke of Atholl was initiated, passed, raised, and installed as Master, then Grand Master all in one day on March 1, 1775. The reason for this is unknown.
 Mozart, Hayden, Liszt, and Sibelius (amongst others) all composed music specifically for “Masonic use”.
Before the OES was created, there were many organizations composed of Freemasons’ relatives, such as Heroines of Jericho, The Holy Virgin, Good Samaritan, and others.
 On his trip to the moon in 1969, Freemason “Buzz” Aldrin carried with him the Masonic Supreme Council flag and even took it out on his moonwalk
There are many who claim Charles Darwin was a Freemason; however, there are no official records to prove he was actually a Mason.
 Hitler believed Freemasons were a tool of the Jews. Under the Nazi regime, it’s estimated that between 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons were murdered in concentration camps.
The first "Masonic Book" printed in America was Benjamin Franklin's reprint of Anderson's Constitutions in 1734. Only 17 copies were printed, and it's said to be the rarest masonic book ever.
 The bible used for George Washington's inauguration was borrowed from St John's Lodge No 01. The bible is still in possession of the Lodge to this day and can be seen in the Lodge museum.
The Freemason's Magazine and General Miscellany" was the first-ever Masonic magazine published in the United States in 1811.
 The infamous and highly controversial Masonic writer Albert Pike is said to have written hundreds of Masonic Manuscripts by hand in the 1800s.
There have been approximately 100,000 books published about Freemasonry.
 There is no “uniform” manner of wearing a Masonic Apron. It varies in different jurisdictions.
A Masonic apron should only be worn on Masonic duty, such as; in a Lodge, a funeral of a Brother, or at a laying of a cornerstone.
Speculative Masons wear white gloves as an emblem of clean hands, but operative Masons wore gloves to protect their hands.
There are no regulations on how, when, or if a Masonic ring should be worn; however, it is customary to wear a ring with the points of the Square & Compasses pointing to your heart.
 While there are many theories, no one really knows where Freemasonry originated from. Some might even say the origins of Freemasonry are beyond historical records.
The earliest known mention/appearance of Freemasonry in America is from a rock dated September 6th, 1606, with some markings that closely resemble the Masonic Square & Compasses. This stone was found in Nova Scotia in 1827.
The printing of the word "freemason" first appeared in the Boston News- Letter on January 5th, 1718.
  In 1723, the first anti-masonic group (called "The Gormogons") was formed by expelled Freemason Philip Wharton. To join this group (also believed to be descended from ancient Chinese Society), you first had to leave Freemasonry and renounce it publicly.
 Queen Elizabeth is said to have once sent military force with the intent of breaking up the Grand Lodge.
 On March 6th, 1775, WM Master of Lodge No 411 Sergeant J.B Batt conferred - for the first time - the 3 Masonic Degrees to fifteen African American men.
 The infamous Prince Hall was one of the fifteen African American members who received their degree on the 6th of March 1775.
On January 27th, 1800, George Washington's urn was presented to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts by his widow. This is now called "The Golden Urn".
 On August 23rd, 1879, Lodge No. 239 in France held a meeting in a giant balloon over Paris where they initiated a candidate.
April 23rd is a day celebrated in English Freemasonry commemorating the Articles of Union between the Ancients & The Moderns.
 On November 1st, 1923, Charles H. Callahan used the same trowel used by George Washington to lay the cornerstone of the National Capital to lay the cornerstone at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.
On May 23rd, 1928, in Madison Lodge No. 93, Alfred, Fredrich, and Harold Budd became “the first triplets to join Freemasonry together”.
 In 1943, Hollywood made a “Masonic Motion Picture” called “Your Son is My Brother”.

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