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. The Sons of Revolutionary Sires 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 Sons of Revolutionary Sires grew the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, which was organized on April 30, 1889, the one hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as our nation’s first president. We have used the acronym SAR to identify ourselves for over one hundred years. The SAR was conceived as a fraternal and civic society composed of lineal descendants of the patriots 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 also a member of the Empire State Society, SAR. The charter authorizes the granting of charters to societies of the various states and territories and authorizes the state-level societies to charter chapters within their borders. Federal Legislation then established a federal charter for the National Society, SAR.