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.
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.
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