August 7
This day In Masonry

Oliver Hardy (Ollie) was born Norvell Hardy. He was born on January 18, 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. He was a comedian of stage and screen. He gained worldwide recognition with his partner, Stan Laurel in the team of "Laurel and Hardy." He was the fat one of the comedy duo, Laurel & Hardy. From 1926 until 1943, Ollie suffered mute agony as Stan got him into "another fine mess." The Music Box (1923) earned him an Oscar. He was a member of Solomon Lodge No. 20 in Jacksonville, Fla. and was a frequent visitor at Hollywood and Mount Olive Lodges in California. He entered the Celestial Lodge on August 7, 1957 in North Hollywood, California from Cerebral Thrombosis.

On this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, Mason and General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the "Badge for Military Merit," a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for "any singularly meritorious action" and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree's name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a "Book of Merit."
Washington's "Purple Heart" was awarded to only three known soldiers during the Revolutionary: Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell, Jr. The "Book of Merit" was lost, and the decoration was largely forgotten until 1927, when Mason and General Charles P. Summerall, the U.S. Army chief of staff, sent an unsuccessful draft bill to Congress to "revive the Badge of Military Merit." In 1931, Summerall's successor, Mason and General Douglas MacArthur, took up the cause, hoping to reinstate the medal in time for the bicentennial of George Washington's birth. On February 22, 1932, Washington's 200th birthday, the U.S. War Department announced the creation of the "Order of the Purple Heart."

Mason Theodore Roosevelt, the former U.S. president, is nominated for the presidency by the Progressive Party, a group of Republicans dissatisfied with the renomination of Mason and President William Howard Taft. Also known as the Bull Moose Party, the Progressive platform called for the direct election of U.S. senators, woman suffrage, reduction of the tariff, and many social reforms. Roosevelt, who served as the 26th president of the United from 1901 to 1909, embarked on a vigorous campaign as the party's presidential candidate. A key point of his platform was the "Square Deal"--Roosevelt's concept of a society based on fair business competition and increased welfare for needy Americans.