MSA Logo

Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes March 2013

Masonic Presidents 'Race' In Baseball Contest

With Spring Training underway for our "nation's pastime," a few of our Masonic Presidents of days gone by are receiving a little extra attention.

Since July, 2006, at every home game of the Washington Nationals baseball team, a fourth-inning "Presidents Race" is held.   It is a between-innings diversion, a chance for a spectator chuckle, and it has become a tradition in District of Columbia baseball.

Until now, the contestants were mascot caricatures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.  This year, the big news is that a fifth Past President, Brother Mason William Howard Taft, has been added to the racing contest. 

This baseball "news" has received much media coverage, from a feature article in the Washington Post to a story in Sports Illustrated.
Although the reporting pokes fun at the 340-pound Taft, the 27th President had already made his mark in baseball history.  In 1910, he became the first president to throw out the opening pitch at a major league game.  He also is credited with launching the "seventh inning stretch," when he stood during one game and all others in the stadium followed his lead.

Three of the five Past Presidents who race at baseball games in Washington were Masons.  George Washington, of course, is a well-known Virginia Mason.  Teddy Roosevelt received his Masonic degrees in New York, and Brother Taft was made a Mason "at sight" in Ohio.
Taft, the only U.S. President who later became a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was also an enthusiastic supporter of the creation of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria. 

Little did Taft know that in 2013 he would be "racing" against fellow Masons Washington and T. Roosevelt on many balmy nights in our Nation's Capital.

What It Means To 'Listen"

Seen on the Internet:  The word, "Listen," has the exact same letters in it as the word, "Silent."

Discover A 'World' Of Masonry 

This spring, California Masons are being invited to join the Institute for Masonic Studies and the History Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, for a fascinating global perspective of our Craft.

The Second Annual International Conference of Freemasonry:  A Global Perspective, Past and Present will unveil a wide view of Freemasonry from around the world – investigating its contemporary context and historical foundations, and beginning to unmask its future.

The Conference will be held April 6, 2013, at the Faculty Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

For more information, contact Kim Hegg, program services manager, Grand Lodge of California.

Modern Banking Originated By Knights Templar? 

Soon after the ancient Knights Templar Order was founded in 1118 A.D., it became known for fighting prowess and for protecting pilgrims going to the Holy Land.  Even today, the Templars are best known for their role in the Crusades.

However, they had another role, which made a very important contribution to world civilization – a role, which is little known:  the start of modern banking.

Templary flourished for nearly two centuries.  It rapidly became one of the wealthiest institutions in Europe.  To handle their vast holdings of land, buildings, ships, businesses, and treasure, the Templars established what was to become modern banking.

Masonic authors – such as Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh in The Temple and the Lodge; Baigent, Leigh, and Henry Lincoln in Holy Blood, Holy Grail; and John Robinson in Born in Blood – made references to these Templar banking origins in their writings.

The Templars handled much of the available capital in Western Europe. They pioneered the concept of credit for commercial development and expansion.  They organized the safe and efficient transfer of money for merchant traders (at modest interest rates).  They created safe deposit, trusts, and property management, among other concepts.

Capitalism could not have succeeded without a banking system and financial services to handle capital.  The Knights Templar provided that.

(Source: Grand Lodge of Connecticut publication, 2000)

When Did Masonic Charity And Relief Begin? 

Shortly after 1717, when Lodges were still associations of stoneworkers and masons, the cessation of cathedral building and the expansion of overseas trade lessened the importance of the mason's companies and they had to change to survive.

According to the MSA's Short Talk Bulletin from May, 1962, "From active trade associations whose primary function was the regulation of workers and their qualifications, as well as their working conditions, wages, rights, and responsibilities, they gradually became mutual benefit societies concerned largely with charity and relief for the destitute and unemployed."

FacebookMasonic Service Association      •     Tel: (301) 476-7330      •        Fax: (301) 476-9440       •           Toll-free: (855) 476-4010
3905 National Drive, Suite 280 Burtonsville, MD 20866        •             Email: [email protected]

  Privacy Policy