July 21, 1961 – Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission – Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 becomes the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).
Grissom was scheduled to be the first man to walk on the Moon. Instead, Grissom was killed January 27, 1967, along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a training exercise and pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at the Kennedy Space Center.
Grissom was born in Mitchell, Indiana. Grissom was a master Mason and member of Mitchell Lodge 228.
July 21, 1969 – Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first men to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission.
Buzz Aldrin is a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Masonic Knight Templar, and a Shriner.
Buzz flew the Supreme Council's flag on the moon. That flag is now on display in the Masonic Museum of the Supreme Council Scottish Rite Temple in Washington, D.C.
three swings at Moon golf.
July 21, 1998 – Alan B. Shepard, American astronaut dies.
Shepard was the first American in space. He later commanded the Apollo 14 mission, and was the fifth person to walk on the moon.
While on the Moon, Alan Shepard famously played golf with a Wilson six-iron head attached to a lunar sample scoop handle. Despite thick gloves and a stiff spacesuit which forced him to swing the club with one hand only, Shepard struck two golf balls with a six iron, driving the second according to the official record, but what was actually his third stroke, as he jokingly put it, "miles and miles and miles."
The symbolism of playing golf on the Moon, a sport tied to Freemasonry, with a six iron, with three strokes was not lost on Shepard's Brother Masons.
The origins of golf in Scotland is linked to Masonry, and the membership of the early golf clubs were Freemasons.
For example, St. Andrews cornerstone was laid by Masonic Brothers.
Leith, July 2, 1768
This day William St Clair of Roslin, Esq., the undoubted representative of the Honourable and Heretable G.M.M of Scotland, In presence of Alexander Keith, Esq., Captain of the Honourable Company of Goffers, and other worthy Members of the Goffing Company, all Masons, The G.M., now in his GRAND CLIMAX of GOFFING, laid the Foundation of the GOFFING HOUSE in the S.E. corner thereof, by THREE STROKES with the Mallet.
ALEXR. KEITH, C. Wm. ST. CLAIR, G.M.M.
GMM stands for Grand Master Mason. The St Clairs of Roslyn were hereditary patrons of the Masons in Scotland for centuries and William St Clair was the first elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1736. He was Captain and prominent member of both the Leith and the St Andrews golf clubs. Apart from laying the foundation stone of the world's first golf clubhouse, his name is on the St Andrew’s minute shortening the Old Course to be eighteen holes in 1764. He died in 1778 and is buried in Roslyn Chapel.
The Royal Blackheath GC was open only to Freemasons until 1789 and, until 1825, it still contained a hardcore group of Masons called the Knuckle Club who played out-of-season to avoid the non-mason members.
According to the Masonic Service Association, one of the most frequently asked questions is:
Which Astronauts Are Masons?
Edwin E. Aldrin
Montclair #144, Montclair, NJ
Leroy Gordon Cooper
Carbondale #82 Carbondale, CO
Don F. Eisele
L.B. Turner #732 Columbus, OH
Virgil I. Grissom (Deceased)
Mitchell #228, Mitchell, IN
Wally M. Schirra
Canaveral #339 Cocoa Beach, FL
Thomas P. Stafford
Western Star #138 Weatherford, OK
Edgar D. Michell*
Artesia #28 Artesia, NM
Paul J. Weitz
Lawrence #708 Erie, PA
James B. Irwin
Tajon Lodge No. 104 Colorado Springs, Co
Astronauts Who Have Fathers Who Are Or Were Masons
* Former DeMolay
Source: "Masonic Astronauts," Dunn's Rock Masonic Lodge #267 A.F. & A. M., Brevard, North Carolina.