Today’s Challenge

Today, the SAR still pursues all of our missions. Our national youth programs continue to grow, our elementary school age Americanism Poster Contest, our Eagle Scout Scholarship Competition, the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest are just a few more information may be found on our website on all of our Education based competition and recognition programs under the Education/Youth tab.

However there is one part of our mission – the one about inspiring the community-at-large – that requires a different approach than at our founding.

A November 20, 2008 report by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s National Civic Literacy Board entitled “Our Fading Heritage…Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions” shows that during a random sample of American adults of all backgrounds:

  • Less than half can name all three branches of the government
  • Only 21% know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
  • Although Congress has voted twice in the last eight years to approve foreign wars, only 53% know that the power to declare war belongs to Congress. Almost 40% incorrectly believe it belongs to the President.

How can we not but agree with the Institute’s statement “If we fail to teach our children how American freedom was established and preserved, we cannot expect them to pass it on to future generations.

Today, the SAR has to do more than just set itself up as a model of good citizenship for others to follow. Expanding outreach education from what is now done by volunteers in states and chapters to that planned in conjunction with professionals at The SAR Center For America’s Heritage requires the understanding and support of every member. In 1776 our ancestors recognized that only united action could save them from becoming an increasingly disenfranchised class. The situation now is not so extreme, but let all members remember the principle and the benefit of united action. The SAR can only make use of effective communications that bring SAR resources into our homes and reach and teach the entire nation if all members contribute financial resources for the new Center.

The SAR’s vision of the future is based on successful completion of the capital campaign in the years ahead and the development of The SAR Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. When completed, the SAR Center will dramatically increase the educational support of civic literacy around the United States.

The educational staff will develop programs and exhibits that teach American values and unity in one overriding American cultural identity. The history of American Revolution and the founding of the U.S. government and how this translates in to today’s society will be the focus of the lessons taught.

SAR educational programs, utilizing new mass communication techniques will be distributed to states and chapters for their local use in meetings/events and at schools.

The SAR Center will have world class exhibit areas designed to inspire visitors to value their American citizenship. Visitors, researchers and scholars will be welcomed to enjoy and study the SAR’s collections, artifacts and exhibits.
When completed The SAR Center for Advancing America’s Heritage will become one of the SAR’s most important gifts to our nation, providing outreach education for New Generations.

“TELL ME – and I forget…TEACH ME – and I remember… INVOLVE ME – and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin 


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!

Learn about contribution opportunities.

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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.