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On this date in 1787, Prince Hall, a Revolutionary War veteran, organized the Negro Masonic Order in the United States African Lodge No. 459, in Boston.
This became the first Black self-help fraternal institution in the United States. His petition for the lodge was presented to the Grand Lodge of England in March 1784, but its implementation was delayed. These fraternal organizations were important to Blacks at the time; along with churches and schools, they constituted an important part of the self-help movement.
Now, more than 150 years later, the Negro Masonic Order has 40 grand lodges, 5,500 lodges, and more than 500,000 members.
Contemporary Black Biography, various volumes
Edited by Shirelle Phelps
Copyright 1999 by Gale Research, Detroit, London