Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR did not leave enthused descriptions of his thoughts on Masonry or his motives for joining, at least not as enthused as his famous cousin Theodore. But FDR was a dedicated and longtime Mason and the fact that he raised his sons Franklin and James into Masonry indicates the level of his own involvement. FDR was initiated and passed in the fall of 1911 in Holland Lodge # 8 in New York City. In 1929 he petitioned the Accepted Scottish Rite, receiving his 32 degree and the following year he became a Shriner.
He received an honorary membership in the Architect Lodge #519 in New York, it was there where he raised his sons in 1935. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York, holds a trove of papers related to his membership and activities in Freemasonry.
Ten years before FDR entered into Freemasonry, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean a young Englishman named Winston Churchill was initiated into Studholme Lodge #1591. Churchill and FDR would have a long and fruitful relationship in mid-century, as the vanguard against the spread of Nazism.
Shortly after the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and the British declaration of war, Churchill received a note from FDR. “What I want you and the Prime Minister to know is that I shall at all times welcome it if you will keep me in touch personally with anything you want me to know about,” FDR wrote to the then First Lord of the Admiralty Churchill. Thus Masonic brother FDR, well aware that the nation he led was thoroughly opposed to US involvement in European affairs, let Masonic brother Churchill know that he was ready to help.
Many, if not all, of Roosevelt’s programs to combat the Great Depression and modernize American society can be found to be rooted in Masonic ideals and goals. Many of these are decried by opponents as socialist and examples of liberalism which clearly links Masonic ideals with the destruction of American values and the establishment of the so-called New World Order.