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William H. Taft, Twenty-Seventh U.S. President, 1909-1913: William Howard Taft was born
on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of a distinguished judge. He was graduated
from Yale and returned to Cincinnati to study and practice law. He rose in politics through
judiciary appointments earned through his own competence and availability. Brother Taft was
made a "Mason at Sight" within the Body of Kilwinning Lodge No. 356 located in Cincinnati,
Ohio on February 18, 1909. Taft’s father and two brothers were also members of this Lodge. After
the ceremony, Brother and President Taft addressed the Brethren, saying, "I am glad to be here,
and to be a Mason. It does me good to feel the thrill that comes from recognizing on all hands the
Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man." Taft was a distinguished jurist and an effective
administrator but a poor politician. Large, jovial, and conscientious, Taft was inaugurated as
President in 1909, and spent four uncomfortable years in the White House caught in the intense
battles between the political factions of Washington. Taft’s term ended in 1913 and, free of the
Presidency, served as Professor of Law at Yale until Brother and President Warren G. Harding
made him Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, a position he held until just before
his death on March 8, 1930 in Washington, D.C.

Warren G. Harding, Twenty-Ninth U.S. President, 1921-1923: Warren G. Harding was born
near Marion, Ohio, on November 2, 1865. An active civic leader, he became the publisher of a
newspaper. He was a trustee of the Trinity Baptist Church, a director of almost every important
business, and a leader in fraternal organizations and charitable enterprises. Harding was initiated
in Freemasonry on June 28, 1901 in Marion Lodge No. 70 located in Marion, Ohio. Because of
some personal antagonism, Brother Harding's advancement was hindered until 1920, by which
time he had been nominated for President. Friends persuaded the opposition to withdraw the
objection, and on August 27, 1920, nineteen years after his initiation, Brother Harding achieved
the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in Marion Lodge. Harding won the Presidential election of
1920 by an unprecedented landslide of 60 percent of the popular vote. By 1923 the post-World
War I depression was giving way to a new wave of prosperity and newspapers proclaimed Harding
as a wise statesman. However, word began to reach Harding that some of his friends were using
their official positions for personal enrichment. This alarmed and worried Harding but he feared
the political repercussions of exposing the scandals. Looking wan and depressed, Harding
journeyed westward in the summer of 1923 carrying the burden of revealing the corruption.
Unfortunately, he did not live to find out how the public would react to the scandals of his
administration. On August 2, 1923, Harding died in San Francisco of a heart attack.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thirty-Second U.S. President, 1933-1945: Franklin D. Roosevelt was
born on January 30, 1882 at Hyde Park, New York. He attended Harvard University and Columbia
Law School. On St. Patrick's Day, 1905, he married Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt entered public
service through politics, serving in several state and federal positions before being elected
Governor of New York in 1928. In the summer of 1921, at the age of 39, he was stricken with
poliomyelitis. Demonstrating indomitable courage, Roosevelt fought to regain the use of his legs,
particularly through swimming. Roosevelt received the three degrees in Masonry within Holland
Lodge No. 8 located in New York City in 1911. During his lifetime he was supportive of
Freemasonry and somewhat active in the fraternity. He was elected President in November 1932
to the first of four terms spanning the Great Depression to World War II. His tenure as President
was a period of great social and political change in the United States. Assuming the Presidency at
the depth of the Great Depression, he brought hope to the American people as he promised prompt,

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