The George Washington Union began as a single lodge, named “George Washington No.1”, on December 10, 1976 to work under the concept of absolute freedom of conscience. The newly established Lodge received its Charter from the Grand Orient de France in accord with a covenant signed in August 1977 and ratified by the General Assembly of the Grand Orient de France on September 1978. In 1979, this lodge joined the Centre de Liaison et d’Information des Puissances maçonniques Signataires de l’Appel de Strasbourg (CLIPSAS). It was refounded in 1996.

By 2001 several other Continental style lodges had been formed in North America. It was deemed appropriate in 2002 that the Grand Orient de France officially recognize and collaborate with the George Washington Union as a separate Grand Orient operating in North America with the ability to charter lodges.

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