July 26th is the Birthday of William (Billy) J Florence, one of the Founders of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Or as we so fondly call ourselves: Shriners.
It all started in 1870 when a group of jovial Masons met for lunch on the second floor of the Knickerbocker resturant in New York City.
The Masons who gathered were good nature and filled with wit and good humor. They often discussed starting a new fraternity for Masons in which fun and fellowship would be emphasized. Two of the Brothers, William Florence, an actor, and Walter M Fleming, a medical doctor, gathered the ideas and converted them into what became the A.A.O.N.M.S. or the Shrine, as we know it today.
Thank you and Happy Birthday, William Florence.