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Who are Freemasons?
Men of every walk of life belong to Masonic lodges. They may be highly visible as Shrine Masons ('Shriners") in costume, or as lodge members wearing Masonic aprons in civic processions or Masonic funerals, or at special Masonic ceremonies such as the laying of cornerstones. For example, George Washington officiated at the Masonic cornerstone-laying of the U.S. Capitol in 1793.
The recognized Masonic fraternity in the United States includes 3 million members in 14,000 Lodges. There are about 4 million Masons and more that 100 Grand Lodges worldwide. New York has 136,000 members in over 800 Lodges, which belong to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York.
George Washington and 13 other Presidents of the United States, as well as 18 Vice Presidents and 35 justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, have been Masons. Washington took his first Presidential oath of office on a Bible borrowed from a Masonic Lodge in New York City, and the oath was administered by Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, another Mason and, at the time, Grand Master.
Here is a sampling of famous Masons in various walks of life, Then and now:
'Buzz' Aldrin; Gene Autry; Beethoven; Irving Berlin; Simon Bolivar; Omar Bradfey; Henry Ford; Benjamin Franklin; Garibaldi; John Glenn; John Hancock; John Paul Jones; Rudyard Kipting; Lafayette; Mozart; Douglas MacArthur; Norman Vincent Peale, John J. Pershing; Paul Revere; Norman Rockwell; Roy Rogers; Will Rogers; David Sarnoff;- Red Skelton.; Thomas J. Watson; and John Wayne. There are many more! Take a look at the list on Wikipedia of notable masons.