today in history

The Working Tools by Rob Morris

Let us be true, — each Working Tool 
The Master places in our care 
Imparts a stern but wholesome rule 
To all who work and journey here 
The Architect divine has used 
The Plumb, the Level and the Square. 

Let us be wise the Level see! 
How certain is the doom of man! 
So humble should Freemasons be 
Who work within this narrow span 
No room for pride and vanity 
Let wisdom rule our every plan. 

Let us be just behold the Square! 
Its pattern deviates no part 
From that which, in the Master’s care, 
Tries all the angles of the heart. 
O sacred implement divine, 
Blest emblem of Masonic art! 

Let us be true the unerring Plumb, 
Dropped from the unseen Master’s hand, 
Rich fraught with truthfulness has come, 
To bid us rightly walk and stand 
That the All-seeing Eye of God 
May bless us from the heavenly land. 

Dear friend, whose generous heart I know, 
Whose virtues shine so far abroad, — 
Long may you linger here below, 
To share what friendship may afford! 
Long may the Level, Plumb and Square, 
Speak forth through you the works of God.

This article provided by Today in Masonic History at

today in History

Continental Congress

On this day the Continental Congress formally declares the name of the new nation to be the “United States” of America. This replaced the term “United Colonies,” which had been in general use.

In the Congressional declaration dated September 9, 1776, the delegates wrote, “That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words ‘United Colonies’ have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the “United States.”

Richard Henry Lee
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson

A resolution by Richard Henry Lee, which had been presented to Congress on June 7 and approved on July 2, 1776, issued the resolve, “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States….” As a result, John Adams thought July 2 would be celebrated as “the most memorable epoch in the history of America.” Instead, the day has been largely forgotten in favor of July 4, when Jefferson’s edited Declaration of Independence was adopted. That document also states, “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES.” However, Lee began with the line, while Jefferson saved it for the middle of his closing paragraph.

By September, the Declaration of Independence had been drafted, signed, printed and sent to Great Britain. What Congress had declared to be true on paper in July was clearly the case in practice, as Patriot blood was spilled against the British on the battlefields of Boston, Montreal, Quebec and New York. Congress had created a country from a cluster of colonies and the nation’s new name reflected that reality.