It Began In 1717
While some records have Freemasonry dating back to the 1600s, the accepted establishment of the society is 1717. It was the year the Grand Lodge of London opened. This was the first of many Grand Lodges and marked the beginning of the spread of Freemasonry.
In the United States today, there are 51 Grand Lodges. Each one is responsible for helping govern the brotherhood in that region and keeping track of its members. Worldwide, it is estimated there are six million registered Freemasons.