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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes April 2005

National Anthem Project

One of the most significant moments in our nation's history happened during the War of 1812 and is told through the poem of one man, Francis Scott Key. On the night of September 13, 1814, Key watched as our country was attacked by the British Navy at Fort McHenry. After watching the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air, Key was expecting to find Baltimore burned by the British but was stunned to see the American flag raised at sunrise as the British ships retreated. So inspiring was this sight that Key began to pen what was to become our National Anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner."

Today, many Americans are unaware of this legacy. In fact, two out of three Americans don't know all of the words to "The Star Spangled Banner" and many more aren't sure which song is our national anthem. After years of budget cuts to school music programs, American patriotism is becoming silenced as students lose access to historical lessons and tales of our history through the teaching of patriotic songs.

The National Association for Music Education (MENC) is launching the National Anthem Project to renew national awareness of American traditions and promote the significance and history of the anthem. We are going to re-teach America to sing the National Anthem and take pride in all for which our country stands.

Many of America's leading organizations and well-known brands are working with us for this extensive consumer education campaign, including A&E Networks and the History Channel, The Disney Company, the American History Museum at the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Sportscasters Association, among others.

For more information please go to www.thenationalanthemproject.org

Washington Monument Video

The History Channel (part of the A&E Television Networks) recently featured the Washington Monument in its continuing series Modern Marvels. The role played by the Freemasons in its construction and Washington's Masonic membership are both featured. Copies of this program in DVD or video format are available for $29.95 (plus s/h). By phone 1-888-646-3476 or website ShopAETV.com

Kit Carson Home

Kit Carson was one of America's most famous plainsmen-Indian scout, guide, trapper and soldier. He was born on Dec. 24, 1809 in Madison County, KY. While an infant, his parents moved to Howard County, MO, which was then a wilderness.

For eight years he lived the life of a plains trapper and was then appointed hunter for the garrison at Bent's Fort, where he remained eight more years. Carson was closely associated with Charles Bent and married Josefa Jaramillo, sister of Bent's wife. Next he served as guide for General John C. Fremont, The Pathfinder, on his first expedition-and later others, including the famous one to California in 1843-44.

In 1851 he settled down to ranching, 50 miles east of Taos. In 1853, he drove 6,500 head of sheep over the mountains to California-a hazardous undertaking at that time, and on his return to Taos, was appointed Indian agent. He was perhaps better known among the western Indians than any other white man. He knew their habits, customs; understood their mode of warfare; and spoke their language as a mother tongue. Under this appointment, he was largely instrumental in bringing about treaties between the Indians and the U.S.

At the advent of the Civil War he was made colonel of a New Mexico regiment and later brevetted brigadier-general for his achievements. After the war, he returned to his appointment as Indian agent. He received his degrees in Montezuma Lodge 109, (now #1), Santa Fe, NM. 

(Source: Denslow's 10,000 Famous Freemasons)

Bent Lodge #42, Taos, NM has undertaken the project of restoring the Kit Carson Home and Museum located in Taos. This is a major undertaking because historical accuracy in showing the culture of the area (1850's) is the goal. Anyone interested in becoming part of this historic project should go to www.kitcarsonhome.org or call J. Mark Drummond, Executive Director at 505-758-4945

Did You Know? Why are Masons of the Second Degree called Fellowcrafts?

Probably prior to 1726 all Freemasons except the "King's Master Mason" were either Apprentices or Fellows of the Craft, in imitation of the workers of the operative days, when Apprentices became Fellows after a period of seven years training and the making of a "Master's Piece" to show proficiency in some part of a mason's work. We continue the old names, as preferable to such modernizations as "beginners" and "members."

(Source: MSA Digest 101 Questions About Freemasonry)

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