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  HARRY S TRUMAN (1884-1972)  

  Thirty-third President (1945-1952)

picture  MASONIC RECORD

Initiated: February 9, 1909, Belton Lodge No. 450, Belton, Missouri. In 1911, several Members of Belton Lodge separated to establish Grandview Lodge No. 618, Grandview, Missouri, and Brother Truman served as its first Worshipful Master. At the Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, September 24-25, 1940, Brother Truman was elected (by a landslide) the ninety-seventh Grand Master of Masons of Missouri, and served until October 1, 1941. Brother and President Truman was made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33*, and Honorary Member, Supreme Council on October 19,1945 at the Supreme Council AASR. Southern Jurisdiction Headquarters in Washington D.C., upon which occasion he served as Exemplar (Representative) for his Class. He was also elected an Honorary Grand Master of the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay. On May 18, 1959, Brother and Former President Truman was presented with a fifty-year award, the only U.S. President to reach that golden anniversary in Freemasonry.

  Joining Freemasonry

  pictureDuring his years on the farm, Truman joined the Masonic Order. Both of his grandfathers were Masons. So were many of the great men he admired: Mozart, Andrew Jackson, and George Washington. The Masonic Order offered ethical guidance, companionship, and acceptance among other Masons, wherever he might travel.

"The Scottish Rite has done its best to make a man of me,
but they had such a grade of material to start with that
they did a poor job I fear. It is the most impressive ceremony
I ever saw or read. If a man doesn't try better after seeing it,
he has a screw loose somewhere."

 (from the Truman Presidential Library & Museum)

May 5, 2001

picture Independence, MO Honors Bro. Harry S Truman's Memory
ON THIS DAY every year the city of Independence, MO. honors native son Bro. Harry S Truman by presenting the Harry S Truman Award for Public Service to an individual who best typifies and possesses the qualities of dedication , ability, honesty and integrity that distinguished the former US President, Bro. Harry S Truman. Ceremonies are held at the Harry S Truman Library at Independence.

May 8, 1884

pictureBorn: Bro. Harry S Truman - 33rd President of the United States

On this day in 1884 at Lamar, MO was born Bro. Harry S Truman who was to become the 33rd President of the US. succeeding to that office on the death of Bro. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, April 12, 1945. He served until January 20, 1953. Bro. Truman was the last of nine US Presidents who did not attend college His birthday is a holiday in Missouri. He was raised March 18, 1909 in Belton Lodge No. 450, Grandview, MO. The following year he became Junior Warden but when Belton Lodge separated to form a new Lodge, Grandview 618, Bro. Truman was made the first Master. After World War I he returned to become District Deputy Grand Lecturer and District Deputy Grand Master of the 59th Masonic District. In 1930 he became Grand Pursuant. In September, 1940, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, and a few weeks later, US Senator from Missouri.
Truman died at Kansas City, MO. December 26, 1972.(Source: Chase's; Livingston Masonic Library)

 

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Taking the Oath of Office on the death of President Roosevelt

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2nd Row From Top, 4th From Left (No. 57)

 

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Truman with group of fellow Shriners.

 

Grandview Masonic Lodge 618

picture   In 1911, Truman lead the effort to organize Masonic Lodge 618 in Grandview. He was elected its first master, served as secretary for four or five years, and was elected master for a second time in 1916. The Masons became an important part of Truman's social life, and he gave himself energetically to learning Masonic ritual and participating in meetings and ceremonies at several lodges in Jackson County. The thrill of being a leader among his Masonic brothers was strongly felt by a young man who had struggled for years to get over his shyness. "I have the big head terribly," he wrote proudly to Bess Wallace when he was elected master in 1911. (Letter of June 16, 1911.) About a month after becoming master, he conferred the first degree that was given in the Grandview lodge. Some time in the far distant future," he wrote Bess, "I'll be bragging about having performed that ceremony." (Letter of July 29, 1911.) He was frequently asked to officiate at Masonic ceremonies. He wrote Bess in late February 1912 that he had to preside over ceremonies at three different lodges on three consecutive nights. "That dispenses with three nights on which I receive nothing but hot air and get my hatband sprung," he said. (Letter of February 27, 1912.)

While Truman was serving in France during World War I, the lodge hall in Grandview burned down and all its records were lost. After the war, Truman focused his efforts on serving the entire Masonic district that included Jackson County outside of Kansas City. In 1925, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master and Lecturer and for about five years he gave courses of instruction in lodges throughout the district.

Gaylon Babcock, whose family owned a farm near the Truman farm in Grandview, attended lodge meetings with Truman in the 1920s. Babcock was very critical of Truman's ability as a farmer, but he thought better of the skills he demonstrated in his Masonic work. He did a good job in the lodge work. Excellent. He was an excellent director. If things weren't going right along smoothly, Harry would come in and get them to going. He was a good lodge man." (Gaylon Babcock oral history interview, Truman Library, 1964.)

In 1940, Truman was elected Grand Master for the Grand Lodge of Missouri. His last duty in this position was to preside over the lodge's annual meeting, held in St. Louis on September 30 and October 1, 1941. "Well my tour of duty as Grand Master ended up in a blaze of glory ," Truman wrote to Bess after the meeting. "My good friends were the happiest men you ever saw and I felt like it was worth all the effort and time." (Letter of October 3, 1941.)

On October 19,1945, Truman was given the 33rd degree of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the southern jurisdiction. He is the only President to have received this distinction, which he considered with satisfaction to be the culmination of his Masonic career."
Freemasonry," Truman wrote in 1939, "is a system of morals which makes it easier to live with your fellow man, whether he understands it or not."
(Letter to Frank P. Briggs, December 13, 1939. Papers as U. S. Senator and Vice President.)

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Proudly Displaying his tickets to the annual Shriners' Circus

 
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Harry S. Truman's commemorative ribbon from the Grand Lodge of Missouri's Annual Communication 1932.

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Commemorates the day, February 22, 1950, when President Truman dedicated the enormous statue of President George Washington
that was donated by the Order of DeMolay in the main hall of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

 
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Click to Enlarge

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On the morning of Truman's election victory,
he held high the newspaper wrongly declaring Dewey the victor.

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Inauguration Day January 20, 1949

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Truman tried to seize control of the Youngstown steel mill
during the Korean War in order to prevent strike from causing problems,
but the Supreme Court ruled against it.

 

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    Although President Truman died December 26, 1972,
his memorial service was held in the Washington Cathedral on January 5, 1973

 

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As Truman aged, he requested the appropriate bank forms that would authorize and permit
his beloved wife, Bess, to sign checks.

 

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  President Truman was a confirmed and active Mason from early manhood,
throughout his Presidency and until his demise.

 

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The young Truman was an Army Captain in World War I

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President Truman deliberated over the historic,
momentous and heartrending decision to authorize use of
the first atomic bomb in the history of man.

 

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 The First Day of Issue of the middle stamp
commemorates that historic day when President Truman announced the end of World War II,
fifty years earlier.

 

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End of WWII, originally announced by President Truman in 1945
(bottom center 50-Year-Memorial-Souvenir-Sheet, that also lists all the Masonic Military Leaders of 1945)

 

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50th Anniversary of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),  Formed During The Truman Presidency

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Truman wearing his Masonic lapel pin

 

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Fraternal Cap

This cap was presented to Harry S Truman in October of 1945,
when he was invested with the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction.
It is embroidered with "Harry S Truman" on the inside crown. 



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