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US Presidents as Masons. Herbert Hoover?



I am convinced that much-maligned Herbert Hoover was perhaps the noblest of US Presidents. Was he a Mason? Paul Simon says: "I have spent two days researching Herbert Hoover's possible Masonic background, and as we might say in the craft "it's cloudy". I cannot say more than : Masonic Background unknown. Although I originally found several websites (some Masonic and some anti-Masonic) that asserted Herbert Hoover was a Freemason, more authoritative sources do not have him on the list of Masonic Presidents.That's not to say he wasn't one- I suspect a number of Presidents have preferred to keep their Masonic background private. For instance, George H. W. Bush never said whether he is a Mason, but he was a member of skull and bones at Yale and took his inaugural oath on George Washiongton's Masonic Bible from St. John's Lodge #1 in NYC (something other Masonic presidents have done). Some Presidents were very active Freemasons: Franklin D. Roosevelt was very active, Truman was Grand Master of Missouri, Theodore Roosevelt spoke warmly of the order. Others appear to have joined but not done much thereafter.

For pretty accurate reading on the subject: Freemasonry and The Presidency by Ray V. Denslow, 10,000 Famous Freemasons by William R. Denslow, and Freemasonry in American History by Allan E. Roberts. Federal Lodge #1 of Washington DC has a listing of Masonic Presidents and anti-Masonic presidents. The Grand Lodge of North Carolina's web page has an interesting discussion of Masonry and prejudice.

In doing my research I also discovered that Herbert Hoover gave ALL his presidential pay to charity. I can't help wonder why some of the rich --ahem--folks-- who held office after him didn't see fit to emulate that fine example! People of more modest backgrounds--Eisenhower, Clinton, or Carter come to mind probably needed their wages, but Kennedy or the incumbent?"

My question: Perhaps some WAISer Hoover specialist can add information about Hoover's affiliation with the Masons. Is his name in the Federal Lodge I of Washington, DC?

Ronald Hilton - 1/3/02


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