President 1945-1953 / Master Mason 1909
For the second time in the 169 year history of the United States of America, a Past Grand Master of Masons was elevated to the office of President. Harry S. Truman became the 33rd Chief Executive, Thursday, April 12, 1945, when he was sworn in by Chief Justice Harlan Stone, two and a half hours after the untimely death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was born May 8, 1884, a LaMar, Barton County, Missouri.
He was made a Mason in Belton Lodge No.450, of Missouri, March 9, 1909, and served as Junior Warden in 1910. In 1911, he organized Grandview Lodge No.618 and served as its first Worshipful Master. Later, he was its Secretary, and again, in 1917, its Master. From 1925 to 1930, he served the Grand Lodge as District Deputy Grand Master and District Deputy Grand Lecturer, and in 1930 was appointed Grand Pursuivant, and progressed regularly until his elevation as Grand Master in 1940.
On November 15, 1919, he was exalted in Orient Chapter No.102, Kansas City, Missouri; greeted in Shekinah Council No.24, Kansas City, Missouri, December 8, 1919; Knighted by Palestine Commandery No.17, of Independence, Missouri, June 15,1923, receiving the 32 deg in Western Missouri Consistery, Kansas City, Missouri. On November 21, 1941, he received from Grand Commander Melvin M. Johnson, 33 deg, of the Northern Supreme Council, the Gourgas Medal for distinguished service to Masonry. Humanity and Country. In 1945, he was crowned a 33 deg by the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction.
He attended Masonic lodge meetings while campaigning, and while he was President of the U.S., and he wrote,
“The greatest honor that has ever come to me, and that can ever come to me in my life, is to be Grand Master of Masons in Missouri”