The SAR Center for Advancing America's Heritage


The Sons of the American Revolution is an historical, educational and patriotic organization formed in 1889 to preserve the stories of our patriot ancestors’ struggle against tyranny and the principles upon which our country was founded. The SAR has over 28,000 members today, all of whom trace their ancestry to the Revolutionary War era.

The SAR’s national headquarters are in Louisville, KY.

The SAR seeks to help fill the ever-increasing gap in history and civics education within our school systems through its newly formed The SAR Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. Since the 1960’s the American education system has consistently reduced the amount of time spent on social studies and history in the classroom. This trend affects our ability to teach our children the stories of our past to better understand the issues of today. The Center will provide educational programs to school children from local and surrounding school systems through permanent and traveling exhibits and in outreach education programs distributed to SAR Chapters across the country.

The SAR Center will provide expanded space for permanent and traveling exhibits, speakers, workshops, summer camps and school programs, plus improved conditions for its internationally acclaimed genealogical library as well as more efficient space for administrative and programming offices.

To further its goal of expanded services, The SAR has purchased an historic 1840’s era building on  Louisville’s West Main Street, a Cultural District known for its second largest collection of iron-front façade buildings in the country (second only to SoHo in New York). Plans to renovate and furnish the 40,000 square foot historic site include an open gallery atrium and inviting reception area.

The SAR National Headquarters will be located on the second floor. The Genealogical Library will be a significant part of the west wing and a rooftop garden will overlook the majestic Ohio River.

Along with the general public and school groups, key users are expected to be scholars, historians, authors, teachers, students, families and individuals who are interested in researching and learning more about our country’s beginnings and the principles upon which it was founded.

To fund The SAR Center’s renovation, SAR members, private foundations, corporations, businesses, local, state and federal grants, community leadership and the public-at-large will all be invited to participate in ADVANCE: Campaign for New Generations.

Based upon traffic generated along Louisville’s historic West Main Street and the activity generated at other attractions located along that corridor, it is projected that The SAR Center could attract as many as 100,000 visitors in its first full year.
There are no other cultural attractions like The SAR Center for Advancing America’s Heritage near Louisville, KY. The location for The SAR Center is easily accessible by three major interstates, 71, 65 and 64, and sits within a day’s drive of more than half the population of the United States. This new SAR Center will add another jewel to Louisville’s tourism crown and strengthen the economic development of the downtown cultural district.

The SAR Center’s construction schedule is dependent on available and pledged funds. The SAR Genealogical Research Library was completed in 2011. Architectural plans are being drawn for the next phase of construction that will include the SAR Headquarters and Museum.

The hours of operation are still to be determined, but will certainly be compatible with other activity and traffic along the West Main Street corridor.

Fellow Compatriots,

First, may I say how honored I am to have been chosen to lead the Capital Campaign for The SAR Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. None of the campaigns I have been involved with in the past fill me with as much excitement as the project we as SAR compatriots will achieve in the next few months.

The SAR Center will house our new interactive Galleries, the Drinkard Education Center, Genealogical Research Library, Merchandise Operations, and our National Headquarters.

Most important it will align our mission of civic literacy education to solid programs within The SAR Center in Louisville that may be easily accessible to our membership for use throughout the country.

Increasing civic literacy and pride in our country and our heritage are indeed worthy ambitions begun many years ago by the founders of our great organization and carried out through generations of patriots.

The successful completion of this project is extremely important for future generation of Americans and to the future of the NSSAR and should be given top priority as we complete our planned five-year campaign to raise the necessary funds. Your assistance and support will make a difference.

All gifts to The SAR Center for Advancing America’s Heritage are important, no matter the amount. Multi-year pledges are also important in helping to reach our goal. Please consider donations of appreciated stock, life insurance, real estate, charitable bequests, and planned giving. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the SAR Foundation by calling (502) 589-1776.

We have never been more ready. Many of our compatriots are involved in planning and fundraising efforts. I am excited about the positive attitude of our membership and truly believe that we will be successful. The success of this project depends on a continued high level of commitment from our leadership our members and our friends. With everyone pitching in however they can, we will make it happen.

Please join us in doing your part for our new home and The SAR Center for Advancing America’s Heritage! Make your pledge today.



Samuel C. Powell, Ph.D.
Capital Campaign Chairman

Happy Anniversary!

The SAR commemorates the 225th Anniversary, of our First President. 

Washington Pin The first inauguration of George Washington as the first president of the United States took place on April 30, 1789.

The inauguration marked the commencement of the first four-year term of George Washington as president. Sworn in by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston during this first presidential inauguration, Washington became the first president of the United States following the ratification of the Constitution.

The first presidential term started on March 4, 1789. Following the ratification of the Constitution by the required nine states, that date had been set by the Congress of the Confederation for the beginning of the operations of the new government under the Constitution of the United States. On that date, the House of Representatives and the Senate assembled, but both convened without a quorum. The House of Representatives first achieved a quorum on April 1, when it elected its officers. The Senate first achieved a quorum and elected its officers on April 6. Also on April 6 the House and Senate met in joint session, and the electoral votes were counted. Washington and Adams were respectively declared elected president and vice president, and the results of the count were subsequently published in the journals of Congress.

On April 30, 1789, the inaugural ceremony took place on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, then the first US Capitol and the first site where the 1st United States Congress met.

Since nearly first light a crowd of people had begun to gather around Washington's home, and at noon they made their way to Federal Hall by way of Queen Street and Great Dock (both now Pearl Street) and Broad Street. Washington dressed in an American-made dark brown suit with white silk stockings and silver shoe buckles; he also wore a steel-hilted sword.

Upon his arrival at Federal Hall, Washington was formally introduced to the House and Senate in the then Senate chamber, after which already sworn-in Vice President John Adams announced it time for the inauguration. Washington moved to the second-floor balcony where he took the presidential oath of office, administered by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston in view of throngs of people gathered on the streets. The Bible used in the ceremony was from St. John's Masonic Lodge No.1, and due to haste, it was opened at random to Genesis 49:13. Livingston shouted "Long live George Washington, President of the United States!" to the crowd, which was replied to with cheers and a 13 gun salute. The first inaugural address was subsequently delivered by Washington in the Senate chamber running 1419 words in length.

At this time there were no inaugural balls for the day of the ceremony, though a week later on May 7 a ball was held in New York to honor the first president.

What can you do?

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The SAR is a "lineage" society. This means that each member has traced their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783.