Early instances in the history of speculative Masonry, in which a man has been made a Mason at sight, include the raising of Franz Stefan, Duke of Lorraine, in 1731 at Houghton Hall, fourteen years before his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor, and of Frederick Prince of Wales in 1737.
William Howard Taft of the United States was recognized as a Mason at sight by an occasional lodge created for that purpose on February 18, 1909, a few weeks prior to his inauguration as President.The lodge was convened at about 4:00 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Cincinnati by Charles Hoskinson, the Grand Master of Ohio, and consisted of him and William B. Mellish. He dissolved it after 6:00 p.m.
Other notable persons who have been made a Mason at sight include Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS Church, Don King, who was raised by Grand Master Odes J. Kyle Jr. of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, and General Douglas MacArthur, who was raised by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.
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