On Oct. 11, 2015, the Daughters of the American Revolution, better know as DAR, will be celebrating its 125 birthday.
DAR was founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.
DAR members volunteer millions of service hours annually in their local communities including supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veteran patients, awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and supporting schools for underserved children with annual donations exceeding one million dollars.
As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 177,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. DAR’s motto is, “God, Home, and Country.”
Logan County’s DAR was organized on April 14, 1924, with a just a few members. Now the institution boosts 45 members. They are a very active group, recently joining together on Sept.n 17th on the Carrico Square showing their support for the United States Constitution by waving flags, ringing bells and holding signs.
The DAR are vibrant, active women who are passionate about community service and serving our nation. The local chapter has held special commemoration dinners on Flag Day for those veterans who fought in World War II, Korea and the Vietnam War. This coming June they will be honoring veterans of Desert Storm Vets.
The local group also presents annual Good Citizenship Awards to students at both the Russellville and Logan County School systems, and go a few times a year to local schools throughout the county to read to students. At each meeting of the local DAR, members take up loose chain to help support the Hindman School in eastern Kentucky, as well as for Native American Indians. The DAR members also support the Museum in Paris, Ky.
“I have known of DAR since I was a little girl because my papaw Perry Gooch (my fathers father) loved researching the families tree, so whenever I was with him he was constantly telling me about those who came from England in the early 1600s,” said Darlene Gooch, Chapter Regent for Logan County DAR. Gooch’s Revolutionary connection is her ancestor Thomas Gooch of Virginia. Her cousin Linda Hatler joined the local DAR with Gooch a year ago.
For Gooch she feels we would have no future if not for our past. “We should all be proud of our heritage, whether good or bad. It can’t be rewritten, so we make sure that we do good and leave a foundation so that 100 years from now when our future family begins researching us, we have done something for them to be proud of,” Gooch says.
Every year for a week in June the National DAR holds its Continental Congress in Washington, D.C. The DAR Hall is located across the street from the White House. Gooch will be attending her first Congress this coming June. Women from all 50 states attend this conference.
Some of the local chapters long serving members include: Nola Willeford, who just turned 90, and has been a member since 1984. There is also Nell Stuart, who will turn 95 in November, and has been a member since 1967.
When the national chapter of DAR was founded, it was during a time that was marked by a revival in patriotism and intense interest in the beginnings of the United States of America. Women felt the desire to express their patriotic feelings and were frustrated by their exclusion from men’s organizations formed to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who fought to make this country free and independent. As a result, a group of pioneering women in the nation’s capital formed their own organization and the Daughters of the American Revolution has carried the torch of patriotism ever since.
The objectives laid forth in the first meeting of the DAR have remained the same in 125 years of active service to the nation. Those objectives are: Historical – to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence; Educational – to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, “to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion…”; and Patriotic – to cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.
Since its founding in 1890, DAR has admitted more than 930,000 members.
To contact Chris Cooper, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 270-726-8394.