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About The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is a patriotic organization formed in 1889 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1906. SAR has more than 28,000 members living in all of the 50 states and 23 foreign countries.

Throughout its 120-year history, SAR has admitted more than 170,000 members. Among them are 16 Presidents of the United States, including both Bushes, Carter, Ford, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman and both Roosevelts. SAR also has among its members Sir Winston Churchill and King Juan Carlos I of Spain, both of whom trace their ancestry to Revolutionary War patriots.

Founding

The SAR and many other lineage organizations derive from that period of time after the Civil War and before 1900 when the USA, already a powerful nation, shed its hemispheric isolation and burst upon the international scene. It was the time of Centennial celebrations, and Americans, as well as others peoples, began to recognize the success of the American experiment. It was the time of the liberation of Cuba and the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule in order to establish democratic governments. It was the time of the “great white fleet,” the Panama Canal and, of course, Compatriot President Theodore Roosevelt. As a nation, America was oozing confidence that our democratic system was working. Americans were proud of what our ancestors had accomplished, and we were determined to memorialize their accomplishments as examples for newcomers to emulate.

Mission

The SAR was just 17 years old when on June 9, 1906; it received its Congressional Charter signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. Our Congressional Charter contains the same mission statements as appear in our modern constitution:

  • To perpetuate the memory of those patriots
  • To unite and promote fellowship among their descendants
  • To inspire them and the community-at-large with a more profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our forefathers
  • To encourage historical research
  • To acquire and preserve records, relics and landmarks
  • To mark the scenes of the Revolution
  • To celebrate the anniversaries
  • To foster true patriotism
  • To maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom

In summary the mission of the SAR is to promote patriotism and the values and principles upon which our country was founded.

The SAR has an enviable record of accomplishments; here are some areas of our national heritage in which the SAR had a significant role:

  • Establishment of Constitution Day, September 17th
  • Instrumental in securing appropriations from the United States Congress for the restoration of “Old Ironsides”
  • Over 1,000,000 copies of “Information for Immigrants Concerning the United States” were distributed in 15 languages and later adopted for use by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor as the official publication given to immigrants newly arrived to America
  • Establishment of Flag Day, June 14th
  • Establishment of the National Archives Building in 1913 for the storage and preservation the nation’s official manuscripts and records
  • Worked to secure an appropriation from U.S. Congress to provide for a fitting sepulcher for Admiral John Paul Jones on the return of his remains in 1905 to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis

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?

Book donations, family histories, planned giving, monetary donations, website sponsorships, you name it!

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Membership

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.