The first time I traveled to Washington, D.C., was in June 2010 to attend the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution national convention, known as Continental Congress.
Thankfully, I had a veteran DAR member with me, Muriel Henry, our Regent.
She explained the whys and wherefores of wearing white gloves and being part of an organization whose motto is “God, Home, Country.”
This June, I was the regent, leading a first-timer, our vice regent, Lee Lambert. I was just as impressed with the DAR convention as I was the first time.
The National DAR was founded in October 1890 at a time when patriotism was on the rise, as well as a desire on the part of women to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who had served in previous wars.
At that time, women were barred from men’s organizations that preserved military history. So being the industrious beings that women are, they started their own organization: the DAR.
Any woman at least 18 years old who can document a direct lineage to a patriot of the Revolutionary War can become a member.
Some may say the DAR is too exclusive to even consider being a member, but it’s the guidelines and steadfast bylaws that make it a highly respected source of accurate historical information. Genealogy that is approved by DAR researchers and archivists can be trusted.
The DAR comprises local chapters, large and small, across the United States and Canada. Chapters also exist as far away as Australia and in several European and Asian countries.
Each year, daughters, as members are known, converge on Washington for the annual meeting at Constitution Hall, headquarters for the DAR.
This year, daughters were 3,500 strong, one of the largest gatherings ever. Hotels and restaurants in Washington must be happy to see the DAR visit because rooms are reserved a year ahead of time.