Friday, May 26, 2017

The Art of Sword Fighting

                                                               The Rapier

The art of sword fighting has been a vital part of life for centuries and remains a popular hobby even today.

The following video takes an in-depth look at historical sword fighting:

Medieval Combat

The wearing of chain mail has been an effective means of protection in combat. Its use dates back to the Roman Empire. The medieval era knights are best remembered for their elaborate chain mail in different designs. The most important period of chain mail armor use ran from about the early 1300's to about the mid to late 1500's.

The following videos give detailed insights into Medieval combat:

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

George Washington: Freemason

George Washington in Masonic regalia

Freemasonry became very popular in colonial America. The earliest of American lodges were the First Lodge of Boston, established in 1733, and one in Philadelphia, established about the same time.  Benjamin Franklin served as the head of the fraternity in Pennsylvania, as did Paul Revere and Joseph Warren in Massachusetts. Other well-known Masons involved with the founding of America included John Hancock, John Sullivan, Lafayette, Baron Fredrick von Steuben, Nathaniel Greene, and John Paul Jones. 

George Washington joined the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia at the age of 20 in 1752. His Masonic membership, like the others public titles and duties he performed, was expected from a young man of his social status in colonial Virginia.  Not much is known of Washington’s Masonic life during the quarter century following his induction into the fraternity.  Tradition puts him in various military lodges during the time, but because of their traveling nature, there remains no record of his attendance.

Washington returned to Mount Vernon in 1783 after the Revolutionary War.  He was invited to joint Lodge No. 39 and later became the first Worshipful Master of the newly established Grand Lodge of Virginia (Lodge No. 22).  He served some twenty months in this post.  During his tenure as Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, Washington was inaugurated President of the United States, becoming the first and only Mason to be President of the United States and Master of his lodge at the same time.

President Washington took his oath of office on a Bible from St. John's Lodge in New York, at his first inauguration in 1791.  During his two Presidential terms, he visited Masons in North and South Carolina and presided over the cornerstone ceremony for the U.S. Capitol in 1793, laying the cornerstone of the United States Capitol in Masonic garb, as chronicled by the Alexandria Gazette of September 25, 1793.  In retirement, Washington sat for a portrait in his Masonic regalia, and in death, was buried with Masonic honors.

Neither Martha Washington nor the women of the South’s leading families were marble statues, they had the same strengths and weaknesses, passions and problems, joys and sorrows, as the women of any age.  So just how did they live?

These are the often overlooked stories of early America. Stories such as the roots of racism in America, famous murders that rocked the colonies, the scandalous doings of some of the most famous of the Founding Fathers, the first Emancipation Proclamation that got revoked, and stories of several notorious generals who have been swept under history’s rug.