SAR — the DAR’s Older Brother

This article originally appeared in the Delhi Press, Miami-Whitewater Press, Price Hill Press and Western Hills Press in 1989.

Guest Column
Charles G. Edwards

How many readers of this newspaper know of the S.A.R.? When mentioning the Sons of the American Revolution, many people say that they have never heard of us, although we will be 100 years old April 30 [1989] – a year older than the Daughters of the American Revolution. The S.A.R. will celebrate its 100th birthday May 6 at 6:30 p.m. with a banquet and program at Imperial House North in Cincinnati and continue through May 7. S.A.R. members and guests from all walks of life will come from all parts of Ohio to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

The Society of the Sons of the American. Revolution is a patriotic organization composed of lineal descendants of colonists who took part on the American side in the Revolutionary War against the British. As the original states existed before our federal union was formed, so a number of state societies were organized before the formation of the national society. It grew out of their desire for a more perfect union. The Sons of Revolutionary Sires was the first of the modern state patriotic societies. It was planned and instituted Oct. 22, 1875, in San Francisco, where the 1989 Congress of the S.A.R. will be in July.

A call was issued for a delegate convention in New York City April 30, 1889, for the formation of a national society. On this date, the national society Sons of the American Revolution was organized, during the centennial celebration of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, at a meeting in the famous Fraunces Tavern where George Washington bade farewell to his generals at the close the Revolutionary War in 1783 and a few hundred yards from the spot where Washington was · inaugurated April 30, 1789. The national society S.A.R. was given a charter by Congress June 6, 1906, signed by United States President and S.A.R. member Theodore Roosevelt.

The national society S.A.R. has its headquarters in Louisville, Ky., with a membership of more than 25,000 throughout the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain. There are 49 state societies plus the District of Columbia, with 429 chapters.

The Ohio Society S.A.R. was organized April 22, 1889. The first meeting was in Cincinnati May 28, 1890, at the Burnett House . The society has fostered and steadfastly supported legislation requiring the teaching of American history in Ohio’s public schools – a requirement that apparently had been inadvertently eliminated by the General Assembly when the General Code was revised.

The Cincinnati chapter S.A.R. was organized May 14, 1896, at the office of the Honorable John Fassett Follett and granted its charter March 11, 1896. One of the members of the board of management of the Ohio society at that time was the honorable William McKinley, inaugurated president of the United States in 1897.

There have been many prominent members of the Sons of the American Revolution, such as presidents Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Herbert C. Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower and William H. Taft. Others were General Douglas MacArthur, Senator Robert A. Taft, Hulbert Taft Jr. of Taft Broadcasting Co., Kingsley A. Taft (justice of the Ohio Supreme Court), Senator Robert Taft Jr. and federal court Judge John Weld Peck.

Eisenhower’s message to the 69th Congress of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution : “George Washington once spoke of the responsibility each citizen bears in the ‘foundation of our national policy.’ As the Sons of the American Revolution encourage a broad and intelligent concern for the problems which face our nation and world, they strengthen the basic traditions of the Republic.”

Charles D. Edwards lives on Fourson Drive in Delhi and is a past president of the Cincinnati chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

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