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MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
FAMOUS FREEMASONS
William Jennings Bryan
[William Jennings Bryan]
March 19, 1860-July 26, 1925
Three-time unsuccessful candidate for the United States presidency—the first two time defeated by Bro. William McKinley in 1896 and 1900, and the third time by Bro. William H. Taft in 1908—William Jennings Bryan was opposed to McKinley’s conduct regarding the war in the Philippines and active in the peace movement during World War I. Appointed in 1913, he resigned as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State in 1915.
Best remembered as the "Silvertongued Commoner", Bryan rebuilt the Democratic Party from a conservative alliance of Civil War losers to a progressive group of small business people, farmers, blacks and blue-collar workers. A liberal apostle of free silver during the depression-ridden 1890s, he was revered by proponents of a farmer-labour populism and government activity on behalf of their causes.
Progressive in politics and a conservative in religion, late in life he assisted the prosecution in the famous 1925 John T. Scopes trial in Dayton, Tennessee. Initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union to contest a Tennessee statute prohibiting the teaching of Darwin’s theories of evolution, the case was a media circus and Bryan’s oratory lead to Scope’s conviction for violation of the statute. Although the Supreme Court of Tennessee reversed the verdict in 1927, the statute was not overturned until 1968.
Initiated: January 28, 1902
Passed: February 11, 1902
Raised April 15, 1902
Lincoln Lodge No. 19, Lincoln, Nebraska

Affiliated : Miami Lodge No. 247, Florida

Source: Livingston Masonic Library; A Library of Freemasonry Derived from Official Sources Throughout the World comprising its history, antiquities, symbols, constitutions, customs, and concordant orders. Robert Freke Gould. volume iv. London : The John C. Yorston Publishing Company, 1911. 554 p. 20 cm. x 28 cm.. plate following p. 266.


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