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Daughters of the American Revolution

Updated on June 17, 2013

DAR Logo

Logo for the Daughters of the American Revolution
Logo for the Daughters of the American Revolution | Source


Have you ever heard of the organization called Daughters of the American Revolution? This organization typically goes by DAR, and has been around since October 11, 1890. The organization is comprised of 170,000 women who had ancestors that fought in the American Revolutionary War. Each state has its own chapters, with approximately 3,000 chapters all over the globe. While most of the chapters are in the United States, there are overseas chapters as well in Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Guam, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. (DAR, 2008).

National Headquarters

DAR’s National Headquarters, located in Washington, D.C. includes a genealogical library and artifacts from our early American civilization. There is even a concert hall in the building which takes up an entire city block. The museum holds numerous plates, vases, quilts, costumes and other items from the pre-industrial age of America. The entire building is exquisitely detailed and is open to the public’s viewing. The Portico provides a beautiful view of the Washington Monument and National Hall. A virtual tour is available on the organization’s website as well.

National Headquarters

Headquarters for DAR
Headquarters for DAR | Source

DAR Purpose

The purpose of DAR today is to make a difference in the communities wherever they live. Public service to promote education, historic preservation and patriotism is the caveat of this organization as they hope to make our American life better. Their motto is to “Preserve the past, Enhance the present, and Invest in the future.” The organization provides publications such as guides for genealogists and Historians, a Coffee Table Book to celebrate the success of the organization’s social service, and research into the men and women and artifacts during the Revolutionary War.

DAR Programs

  1. Historic Preservation
  2. Patriotism
  3. Education

Volunteer activities of DAR members

The list of historic preservation accomplishments include monies earmarked for memorials, artwork, plaques and markers to memorialize historical buildings or areas, restoration projects such as the statue of Liberty, historic homes, cemeteries, and forests. Their patriotic missions have included providing flags to school and other organization and the publication of the booklet on flag codes. DAR typically helps with naturalization ceremonies and sponsors programs to promote awareness of our constitution. DAR attempts to support our military service men and women in current conflicts wherever they are and our veterans.

DAR Awards

Awards presented by DAR honor both members and non-members for outstanding contributions to community or to the nation. They also provide funding to special needs programs such as students with dyslexia or areas where abuse and neglect are high for children. Adult literacy is also at the forefront of DAR’s educational missions. College scholarships help students who plan to major in history, political science, and some medical professions.

Youth Programs

Youth Programs provide education, experiences, and even scholarship services to America’s youth. Junior American Citizens promotes the principles of good citizenship and appreciation of American heritage and history through art, creative expression, and community service programs. In addition, students may be nominated for the DAR Good Citizens award which is the gateway to the Good Citizen Scholarship. DAR also has programs through the Girl Scout organization which teach students about colonial life. Summer camps run during July and August to provide experiences in life during Colonial times. Children can learn how to quilt or discover what it was like to live in early America. The Junior Historian Camp provides field trips to the DAR Museum where campers can learn about history and the museum as well as occupations in this area. Colonial Camp explores the social and political life during the War of 1812.


College students that are at least in their junior year through graduate school can earn college credit by interning with DAR to help create and organize educational programs or assist with work at the museum. If you are interested in that, the application deadline each year is March 15 for a summer internship, July 15 for a fall internship, and November 15 for a spring internship. You can find the internship application on their website.

Museum Rentals

In addition to being able to rent out Constitution Hall, the DAR Museum also makes slide presentations available for a small rental fee. There are over a dozen different topics available that showcase items of the museum or cultural issues such as wedding customs or myths concerning historical places. If you can’t bring your class to the museum, the museum can come to your class!

A Dazzling Daughter

Margaret Rhea Seddon
Margaret Rhea Seddon | Source

Dazzling DAR members

Some of the more famous DAR women include Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross; Susan B. Anthony, women’s suffrage and reform; Caroline Scott Harrison, First Lady; Ginger Rogers, actress; Lillian Gish, actress; Laura Welch Bush, First Lady; and Janet Reno, Former Attorney General. Another DAR lady was Margaret Rhea Seddon. Dr. Seddon started off her professional career as a medical doctor in Mississippi and Tennessee. She later became an astronaut and served on Discover in 1985, Columbian in 1991 and 1993, and performed several life science experiments.

What about you?

Are you the ancestor of an American Patriot? That is all that is required for you to request membership into this organization. Support the legacy of your ancestors by continuing to serve the country they fought for. DAR members contribute to important service projects and stay involved in social and service-oriented programs that will help America continue to grow, develop, preserve, enhance, protect, and remain a free society. Don't worry, men - there's an organization for you as well! They are called SARS - Sons of the American Revolution.

DAR Membership

What about you? DAR is the women's organization, SAR is the men's organization - Sons of the American Revolution.

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    • DrRebeccaSanders profile image

      Dr. Rebecca Sanders 4 years ago from Indiana

      Honestly, I don't know -- yet. I believe since they are non-political that there is a mixture of left and right! I am eligible for DAR membership, but I was never really interested in obtaining a membership until now, so I'm just now gathering information on the group. The thing that caught my eye was their work in education.

    • Patriot Quest profile image

      Wayne Joel Bushong 4 years ago from America

      interesting read, you didn't mention if this group leans left or right politicaly? I am assuming right? least I hope LOL