Famous Freemasons From History!

Famous Freemason: Carl Albert

March 31, 2023

In honor of Virginia becoming the 38th state to ratify the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, we are showcasing then-Speaker of the House, Brother Carl Albert.

Bro. Albert was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on May 10, 1908. His family mined coal and farmed for a living in their log cabin just outside of McAlester. In his youth, he was a member of the Order of DeMolay and was well known for his oratory skills as student body president and National Oratorical Champion of 1928. In 1927, he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma where he studied Political Science,  joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps, excelled at wrestling, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and was a Rhodes Scholar.

After the outbreak of World War II, Bro. Albert enlisted into the Army as a Private and soon was commissioned to Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Forces. He was deployed to the Southern Pacific Theater, where he worked in the Judge Advocate General Corps as a prosecutor. In 1946, he left the Army for the reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Once back from the Army, Bro. Albert was elected to Congress that same year. During his first term of office, he joined South McAlester Lodge No. 96 in his hometown in 1946. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn began to push the young Congressman to seek the chairmanship of the Agricultural Committee and saw that he rose through the party line. In 1955, he was appointed House Majority Whip and took House Majority Leader in 1961 after the death of Speaker Rayburn.

During the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, Bro. Albert shifted the dynamic of the House by giving more powers to the majority. Through this, he pushed through many legislative victories that are integral to today, including parts of President Johnson’s, “Great Society.”

In January 1971, Bro. Albert took the Speakership. Shortly, thereafter, the Watergate Scandal and Spirio Agnew’s investigation made it possible for him to assume the Presidency if a new Vice President was not picked. While these were troubling times for our Republic, Bro. Albert under saw the return to normalcy of the country and the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment by Congress. This proposed Amendment would give Congress the right to enforce equality under the law regardless of gender. The Amendment did not receive the required votes in time for ratification but recently has seen a resurgence as many states ratify it.

Throughout his time in government, Bro. Albert also continued his masonic career. After joining Blue Lodge, he became a 32° Mason in Indian Consistory. He was also awarded the DeMolay Legion of Honor.

He retired from Congress in 1977 amid an investigation. He was not charged with anything, as he turned over the “token gifts” he received to the General Services Administration.

In retirement, Bro. Albert lived a simple life, not accepting any lucrative offers and only publishing a memoir. He died on February 4, 2000, at 91 years old.

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