The Cincinnati can boast a long list of prominent men among its hereditary and honorary members, and the range of their pursuits is as impressive as the men themselves. Washington and Monroe were original members; other Presidents to join were Jackson, Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Grant, Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, McKinley, both Roosevelts, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Hoover, and Truman. A sampling of current hereditary members includes former Cabinet members C. Douglas Dillon and Sinclair Weeks; United States Senators Claiborne Pell, Hugh Scott, Thruston Morton, Richard Russell, and Samuel Ervin; drama critic and lecturer John Mason Brown; and Edgar F. Shannon, Jr., president of the University of Virginia. Among the present honorary members are Gustavus VI, King of Sweden; James F. Byrnes, former Secretary of State and former Supreme Court justice; J. Edgar Hoover; Generals Omar Bradley, Mark Clark, and Matthew Ridgway; historian Samuel Eliot Morison; and the Right Reverend Henry Knox Sherrill, former bishop of Massachusetts and retired presiding bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States.
Not so long ago in Washington, D.C., there occurred the installation of a man whose maternal great-great-grandfather, Lieutenant Reuben Murray, had seen Revolutionary War service in regiments from New York and Connecticut, and had been a member of the Connecticut society.
As a number of distinguished guests looked on that day in 1952, Sir Winston Churchill received his badge and certificate with the comment that it was “a most memorable event in my crowded life.” He then left a typical stamp on the proceedings by adding, “I am in the interesting situation of having fought on both sides in the war between us and we.”