Opening nicely in time for Independence Day is an exhibition tracing the origins and impact of Freemasonry on American society. 14 US Presidents have been Freemasons − including George Washington (pictured). They were instrumental in setting up the state of Georgia and built some of the biggest buildings in the country.
This exhibition has some original documents and artefacts going back to before the Revolutionary War, through the Civil War and to the present day. It's interesting to see a sensible display of how Freemasonry has affected the country − that is, one without hysterical talk of lizard overlords − while at the same time giving an idea about how those conspiracy theories could have started. You should see the paintings of some of those costumes.
The exhibition's also a good opportunity for us to remind you about the tours around the magnificent Art Deco Freemasons' Hall. There are five a day and they include the Grand Temple, library and museum (packed with all kinds of objects, from minutiae to the spectacular). Unless you're in a big group you don't even have to book, just rock up before the start time (and bring some photo ID). What's even better is that everything − exhibition, museum, tour − is completely free.
The Patriot Mason: Freemasonry in American Society runs at Freemasons' Hall from 4 July to 22 December 2011. Tours run every day when the Temple is not in use, leaving from the Library and Museum at 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. All free.