Since 1890, nearly a million members have served the DAR mission of fostering historic preservation, educational ideals and patriotism. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., DAR is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization that was incorporated by an Act of Congress on October 11, 1890. Our national headquarters encompass an entire city block in Washington, D.C., not far from the White House.
A Few DAR Focus Areas:
DAR Manual for Citizenship
In 1921, DAR compiled and published the "DAR Manual for
Citizenship." DAR distributed more than 12 million copies of the printed
guide to American immigrants at Ellis
Island and other ports of entry for more than 80 years. DAR continues to
provide the free document online so that immigrants to the US from all over
the world can eventually take the Citizenship Oath, as shown below during a
Fourth of July Naturalization Ceremony at Monticello in Charlottesville,
MANUAL FOR CITIZENSHIP PDF
War and Peace
The DAR has offered support to the United States military since its inception. During World War II, DAR provided 197,000 soldiers with care packages, sponsored all 89 crews of landing craft infantry ships, and offered the use of DAR buildings to the American Red Cross, including the basement of Constitution Hall where a children's day nursery was set up for enlisted men's wives who had to go to work.
During the Spanish-American War, DAR purchased a ship's tender for the USS Missouri to be used as a hospital launch for transporting the wounded from shore to ship. The U.S. Army appointed DAR member, Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee, as Acting Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Army, in charge of nurses. She organized the DAR Hospital Corps, Army Nurse Corps, and served as NSDAR's first Librarian General. The DAR Hospital Corps certified 1,081 nurses for service during the Spanish-American War. DAR later funded pensions for many of these nurses who did not qualify for government pensions.
To help with the war effort during World War I, DAR loaned its National Headquarters land to the United States federal government for a temporary war office building that provided office space for 600 people. After World War I, DAR funded the reconstruction of the water system in the village of Tilloloy, France, and donated more than $130,000 for the support of 3,600 French war orphans.
During peacetime following World War I, from November 1921 until February 1922, world leaders met in DAR Memorial Continental Hall for the Conference on Limitation of Armaments, a groundbreaking meeting for peace.
The DAR Museum was founded in 1890 as a repository for
family treasures - “a place for the collection of historical relics…
portraits, pictures, etc. … in a fireproof building.”
- “a place for the collection of historical relics… portraits, pictures, etc. … in a fireproof building.”Today, the museum contains more than 30,000 historical relics that form a collective memory of the decorative and fine arts in America from 1700-1850.
Constitution Hall (DAR Headquarters)
Washington D.C.’s largest Concert Hall, welcomes more than half a million patrons each year. The cornerstone was laid by Mrs. Calvin Coolidge using the trowel George Washington used to lay the cornerstone at the Capitol in 1793. The Hall opened in 1929, and was designed to house the annual DAR convention. It’s been home to the National Symphony, the National Geographic Film Series, many television events, and every president has visited since Calvin Coolidge. DAR Constitution Hall was designated a National Historic Landmark Building in 1985.
The DAR Library was founded in 1896 as a collection of
genealogical and historical publications for the use of staff genealogists
verifying application papers for the National Society Daughters of the
American Revolution. Shortly after 1900 the growing collection was opened to
the public and has remained so ever since. It is free to all
It is free to all researchers.
The Americana Collection, founded in the early 1940s, brought together rare manuscripts and imprints previously scattered among the holdings of the DAR Museum and DAR Library. Today, the collection flourishes from more than 60 years of actively seeking out and acquiring artifacts that reflect a unique image of our nation.
As you travel around the United States, you may come across monuments or memorials to which DAR has contributed, including the World War II Memorial and the United States Capitol Building, both in Washington, D.C.; the Valley Forge Bell Tower and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, both in Pennsylvania; the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, New York; and the Women in Military Service memorial in Arlington, Virginia, among many others.
DAR Insignia Is Commemorative
DAR members collect and wear insignia that commemorate special occasions, historical events, DAR chapters, ancestor’s home states, or to mark special donations to the society. Insignia are worn only at official functions of the organization. The official DAR Insignia was adopted and patented in 1891, designed to reflect the spirit of women who lived during the revolutionary War period (1775-1783). It consists of a golden wheel that represents a spinning wheel with a platinum or white gold distaff that represents flax. Its blue rim and the distaff carry the colors of the society, and the stars represent the original thirteen colonies.
DAR Has Junior Memberships
Any DAR member aged 18-35 is a junior member and holds full DAR membership. When qualified, she may serve as an officer or chairman at national, state, and chapter levels. One of the activities of junior members is to support fundraising efforts for DAR schools.
DAR Hosts Solar Panels on its Building
A DAR Constitution Hall photovoltaic system helps the NSDAR to stabilize and reduce electric energy costs for its historic buildings in the nation's capital. The rooftop solar panel array was completed by Standard Solar in 2014 and produces about 100,786 kWh of energy per year to offset the energy demands of DAR headquarters.
You can Support Artifact Conservation
Some items in the extensive DAR Museum collection are in need of repair, cleaning, improved protection or refurbishing. Descriptions of the items - searchable by state - and their needed upgrades are posted on the DAR website as part of the organization's "wishlist." Anyone can fund these items to help conserve them for today and for future generations. The DAR museum is free and open to the public.
DAR Museum is a Tourist Attraction
The DAR Museum is ranked among the top 60 attractions in Washington, D.C. by Trip Advisor! Located in Memorial Continental Hall, the museum features period rooms, exhibitions, quilts and artifacts mostly prior to 1840. Tours are free for individuals and walk-in groups of nine or less, and visitors.
DAR Owns Historic Properties
DAR historic sites and properties - including cemeteries, forests, buildings, rooms and other important landmarks - are owned, operated and/or maintained by the National Society, state societies or chapters. A searchable database allows you to find properties by state to learn more.
DAR American Indian Collection
DAR maintains a Native American special collection in its library featuring around 2,000 volumes of general history and culture, as well as genealogical studies and guidebooks. Researchers will find histories of specific Native American nations, state studies, and materials on interactions with European and African settlers.