One Year and Eleven Days

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Robert H. Johnson 32°

An average day in February, a long time ago a child was born who would become one of the Presidents of the Continental Congress and ultimately the President of the United States of America. Of course I am talking about Illustrious Brother George Washington. The time in which Brother Washington was born the Colonies used a Julian Calendar and not the Gregorian we use today. So historically speaking Brother Washington was born on February 11th, 1731.

In 1752 Britain and the Colonies of the new world adopted the previously mentioned Gregorian calendar and it moved Washington's birthday. Not just by a few days either, it moved it a year and eleven days to the now observed February 22nd, 1732. Now that I have you mildly entertained with this fun fact, let me take moment to reflect.

As we in the Craft celebrate Brother Washington's birthday, the rest of the Nation somewhat generically celebrates "Presidents Day", which is interesting since no one has ever actually sanctioned Washington's Birthday as Presidents Day. In their celebrations, which seldom escape the confines of academia, we see the profane revering Brother Washington's morals and virtues through story books, myths and craft projects. At some point something is usually inferred like "They don't make men like that anymore" or "No one has values like that anymore." Well, we know this is false, those values are alive and well within the confines of our graces.

To most people Washington's Birthday means one thing, that they get a paid day off of work or an extra day to play in the snow. On the other hand, to the Freemason, to the true craftsmen of our fraternity, it means a whole lot more. To us and our families, it is a day to remember Brother Washington's utmost values as both a man and a Mason. We can do well to Brother Washington's memory by continuously perpetuating these values and actions in all our transactions with mankind.

Look well to your character Brothers.


Bro. Robert Johnson, 32° is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois. He belongs to Waukegan Lodge No. 78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council, Knights Templar, AMD, The Illinois Lodge of Research and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago as well as a charter member of the Society of King Solomon, a charity organization run by the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) Whence Came You? which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. In addition, he produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and writes original Masonic papers from time to time. He is a husband and father of three. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays.


  1. I plan to take a trip to the GW masonic memorial on my next day off. It is only 45 minutes from my home. I remember reading a post about you guys traveling in a short time from IL that must have been a drive. I have lived outside of Washington DC my entire life and have not experienced many of the things people come from far away to see.....time to get started!

  2. That sounds like a plan Brother! Sleep deprivation aside, when we drove from IL to the Washington Monument, I have to say that it was definitely one of the best things I had ever done. Life is about participation, it would have been easy to say "No, I can't make it." But as in most parts of life, the things worth doing are usually a bit more difficult.

    I hope you have an awesome time when you visit the monument!

  3. In deed. Not many things that are great come with out patience, hard work and determination.

  4. Bro. Deal,

    A group of Brothers from Jephthah Lodge in Baltimore are going this coming Saturday. We should arrive around 10 AM if you'd like to join us.

  5. Unfortunately I work on Saturdays I would be trying to venture on a Monday. Thanks for the invite though.

  6. The calendar only changed by 10 days, not as much as you say.

  7. Brian Rountree, not according to the government.


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