May 01
This day In Masonry

On this date in 1865, William McKinley (U.S. President 1898-1901) received his 1st degree in Hiram Lodge #21, Winchester, Virginia.

Glen Ford (Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford) was born on this day in 1916 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. He worked with Mason, Will Rogers some. He served as a US Marine during World War II and even made a Marine Corps training film in Vietnam during the Vietnam war for the Marines, he made many westerns. He was a member of Palisades Lodge #637 in Los Angeles, California and Rivera Lodge #780 in Pacific Palisades, California. He entered the Celestial Lodge on August 30, 2006.

On this day in 1926, the Ford motor company becomes one of the first companies in America to establish the forty hour work week for workers in the automotive industry. This policy would extend also to Ford's office workers the following August.

Mason Henry Ford Automobile manufacturer and philanthropist. was born on July 30, 1863 in Wayne Co., Mich. His inventive genius helped change the methods of transportation of the world. Early in life he learned the machinist's trade and was chief engineer for Edison Illuminating Co. In 1903 he organized the Ford Motor Co. and built it into the largest automobile company in the world. In 1914 he made the unprecedented announcement that the company would institute a profit-sharing plan involving the distribution of 10 to 30 million dollars annually to employees. In 1915 he chartered a ship at his own expense to conduct a party to Europe with the object of organizing a conference of peacemakers to influence the belligerent governments to end the war. He returned home after reaching Christiania, Norway, but other members of his party proceeded to Stockholm, Copenhagen and through Germany to The Hague. In 1918 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate. He was raised in Palestine Lodge No. 357, Detroit, Mich. on Nov. 28, 1894. The degree team was composed of men in overalls with whom he worked at the Edison Company. He continued a staunch member of this lodge for almost 53 years. On March 7, 1935 he was made a life member of his lodge and presented with a testimonial plaque commemorating his 75th birthday. Ford made many visitations to lodges near his summer home at Traverse City and his winter residence in Georgia. He also made several visits to Zion Lodge which his brother-in-law, William R. Bryant, served as master in 1932. On Nov. 21, 1928 he was made an honorary member of Zion Lodge No. 1 (Michigan's oldest lodge). When he received the 33 Degree AASR (NJ) in Sept., 1940, he stated: "Masonry is the best balance wheel the United States has, for Masons know what to teach their children." Henry's only son, Edsel, was not a Mason, but two of his grandsons, Benson and William q.v., are. The third grandson, Henry II, became a Roman Catholic. Brother Henry entered the Celestial Lodge on April 7, 1947.

On this day a Remarkable productive period of creative and popular success for Masonic Brother Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began with Le Nozze di Figaro (The marriage of Figaro), which received its world premiere in Vienna, Austra, on May 01, 1886. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart He was an Austrian composer who created more than 600 works during his short life, covering almost every known field of music. He was born on Jan. 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. His full name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolf-gangus Theophilus Mozart, son of Leopold also a composer and a Freemason. When his father received his second degree in his own lodge, Wolfgang wrote Fellow Craft's Journey (Op. K468) to honor the occasion. As a child prodigy, he toured with his father and sister, composing his first published works at the age of seven. He was brought to London at the age of eight, playing before the royal family. In 1768, at the age of 12, he received an imperial commission to compose and conduct an opera, and was made concertmaster to the archbishop of Salzburg in 1769. That same year he was made a chevalier of the Golden Spur by the pope. Returning to Salzburg, he broke with the new archbishop, Hieronymus, who had attempted to hold him in ecclesiastical bondage. In 1782 he settled in Vienna as a teacher and composer. In spite of his position as royal chamber composer to Emperor Joseph II, q.v., he lived in poverty. On Dec. 5, 1784 he was proposed for membership in the lodge Zur Wohltatigkeit and was initiated on Dec. 14, becoming No. 20 on the lodge register. Ten days later he attended lodge Zur wahren Eintracht and on Jan. 7, 1785, he received the second degree in the latter lodge at the request of his mother lodge. On Dec. 1, 1785 his own lodge, Zur Wohltatigkeit united with the lodges Zu den drei Feuern and Zurn heiligen Joseph, to form a new lodge Zur neugekroentin, Hoffnung (new crowned hope). This was by decree of Emperor Joseph II. For the occasion, Mozart wrote Opening Ode (Op. K483) and Closing Ode (Op. K484). The text includes: "Oh sing today beloved brothers/ Your song of jubilation,/ For Joseph's benevolence/ Has crowned anew our hope/ For in our hearts a threefold flame now gleams." Much of his greatest music was composed after his initiation; an impressing amount had Masonic connections. His greatest work is perhaps The Magic Flute, his last opera. It was first produced in Vienna in September of 1791, shortly before his death. Mozart felt that Freemasonry was being persecuted and this opera was intended to vindicate the aims of the institution. The overture contains three chords, played thrice to the rhythm of the three raps in the third degree (it belonged in the first degree at this time). The second act is laid in the temple of Isis and Osiris and the Masonic allusion is very striking. It was thought that the Craft was of Egyptian origin at that time. Here the high priest puts three questions: "Is he virtuous?, Is he charitable?, Can he be silent?", and the three chords are heard once again. In 1785 he wrote Die Gessellenreise (Journey of the Fellowcrafts), a Masonic song (Opus 468). On April 20, 1785 he wrote Maurerfreude (Opus 471), a short cantata which was performed on April 24 in a special lodge held that day to celebrate Von Born's discovery of the method of working ores by amalgamation. His last Masonic work was written for the dedication of a Masonic temple in Vienna on Nov. 15, 1791. The words were by Schikaneder, a member of the lodge, who also wrote the libretto for The Magic Flute. It is his Opus 623, written for two tenors and a bass with orchestral accompaniment. It was the last finished composition of which Mozart conducted the performance. It contains an appendix and a hymn for closing of the lodge, which was probably Mozart's farewell to the Craft. The words of the hymn, in part, are: "Today we consecrate this habitation for our temple, for the first time we gather within this new seat of knowledge and of virtue, and look, the consecration is completed. Oh! that the work were finished also that consecrates our hearts." Mozart was present when his good friend and fellow composer Franz Joseph Hayden, q.v., was initiated in Lodge Zur Wahrn Eintracht of Vienna on Feb. 4, 1785. It is a matter of speculation why Hayden was not taken into Mozart's own lodge, now consolidated as Zur Neugekronten Hoffnung (New Crowned Hope) with its auspicious membership that included a ruling prince, 36 counts, one marquis, 14 barons, 42 nobles, and other prominent men of Vienna. His death came under unusual circumstances while on a trip to Berlin. He entered the Celestial Lodge on December 05, 1791 at the age of 35. He was buried in an unknown grave. A lodge of mourning was held for him and the oration delivered there was published in 1792, and sold for the benefit of his family: "It has pleased the everlasting Master Builder to tear our beloved Brother from the chain of our brotherhood. Who did not know him? Who did not value him? Who did not love him, our worthy Brother, Mozart? Only a few weeks ago he stood in our midst, and with the magic tones added such beauty to the dedication of our Masonic Temple. Mozart's death brings irreparable loss to his art; his talents which were apparent in his earliest youth have made him even then the greatest marvel of his time. Half Europe valued him. The great called him their favorite, Liebling, and we called him Brother. But while we must of necessity recall his powers in Art we must not forget the praise due to his great heart. He was a most enthusiastic follower of our Order. Love for his Brethren, sociability, enthusiasm for the good cause, charity, the true and deep feeling of pleasure when he was able by means of his talents to help one of his Brethren, these were the chief features of his character. He was husband, father, friend to his friends. Brother to his Brethren, these were the chief features of his character. Only the wherewithal was wanted to hinder him from making hundreds happy, as his heart bade him."