The Origins of the SAR
In 1876 there were many celebrations to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. As part of this patriotic fervor, a group of men in the San Francisco, California, area who were descendants of patriots involved in the American Revolution, formed an organization called the Sons of Revolutionary Sires. Their objective was to have a fraternal and civic society to salute those men and women who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the battle for independence from Great Britain. They desired to keep alive their ancestors’ story of patriotism and courage in the belief that it is a universal one of man’s struggle against tyranny — a story which would inspire and sustain succeeding generations when they would have to defend and extend our freedoms.
Out of the Sires grew the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, which was organized on April 30, 1889 — the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as our nation’s first President. We have used the acronym SAR to identify ourselves for over 100 years. The SAR was conceived as a fraternal and civic society composed of lineal descendants of the men who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in the battles of the American Revolution, served in the Continental Congress, or otherwise supported the cause of American Independence. The National Society was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress on June 9, 1906. The charter was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a member of the SAR. The charter authorizes the granting of charters to societies of the various states and territories and authorizes the state societies to charter chapters within their borders.
Today the SAR consists of 26,000 members in over 500 chapters in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Almost 165,000 descendants of the men and women Patriots of the American Revolution have been admitted since our founding. SAR members include fifteen presidents of the United States, Brigadier, Lieutenant and five star generals, presidents of several colleges and universities, ambassadors, and members of the Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Congress. Members include small businessmen, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, CPAs, elected local, state, and federal officials, and government employees, all of whom have a deep affection for America its heritage and institutions.
SAR members answered their country’s call in every major American conflict beginning with the battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 up to the present, including Operation Desert Storm, Bosnia and the current actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. SAR members have received the highest awards America can bestow, including the Medal of Honor.