GREENVILLE — For the first time in 125 years the state of South Carolina will be the site of the SAR National Congress in Greenville, Friday, July 18-Thursday, July 24.
South Carolina SAR State President Daniel Woodruff is elated to show off the Palmetto State’s important role in securing our nations freedom.
“As one of the original 13 colonies there were over 400 Revolutionary War battles, skirmishes and engagements that took place throughout our state, and having major National Park sites like Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park and Ninety Six National Historic site close by make Greenville, South Carolina an excellent location for the Congress,” Dan said.
Over 700 attendees representing SAR members from every state in the US and many countries will gather in Greenville to conduct the business of the society and learn more about South Carolina’s role in America’s fight for independence.
The SAR consists of nearly 32,000 members with over 500 chapters in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The SAR is a historical, educational and patriotic society composed of lineal descendants of the men and women who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in battles of the American Revolution, served in the Continental Congress and supported the cause of American Independence.
The SAR was organized on April 30, 1889 and was chartered by an act of the U.S. Congress on June 9, 1906. SAR members desire to keep alive the historical facts and stories of courage about their patriotic ancestors in the belief that they are a universal example of man’s struggle against tyranny.
SAR members include 16 United States Presidents: Brigadier, Lieutenant and 5-Star Generals: members of the US Supreme Court, and the US Senate and Congress. More notable members include Generals George S. Patton and Douglas MacArthur, Sir Winston Churchill, King Juan Carlos I of Spain and 16 US Presidents including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and George H. and George W Bush.
The Hyatt Regency Greenville is the host hotel for the Congress which will kick off on Friday, July 18 with a wreath laying at the Statue of Nathaniel Greene on Main Street. This event from 11-11:30 a.m. will be attended by SAR National Society officers and members with a Color Guard dressed in Revolutionary War period attire.
Saturday, July 19 will feature tours of both the Kings Mountain and Cowpens battle sites. Sunday, July 20 will be marked with a procession of the SAR color guard down Main Street to Christ Church for the SAR’s annual memorial service. That evening, the public is invited to attend the finals of the National Joseph Rumbaugh Oration Contest at the Hyatt which will feature some of the best high school orators in the nation speaking on a theme from the American Revolution and relating it to the today’s America.
The opening general session begins on Monday, July 21. A highlight of the Congress takes place that afternoon with the annual Youth awards luncheon where the SAR honors its national youth awards winners for Eagle Scout of the Year, JROTC Cadet of the Year, the George and Stella Knight Essay contest, the Joseph Rumbaugh Oration Contest and the American History Teacher. Following the luncheon, the SAR will recognize local heroes by presenting the SAR National Community Service Awards given to Fire Fighters, Police Officers and Emergency Medical Technicians for bravery and courage in the line of duty.
The Congress ends on Wednesday with a tour of the Ninety Six National Battlefield and an evening with a colorful banquet where the new SAR President General and other officers will be inducted. As a highlight, the President General will have the signet ring worn by George Washington placed on his finger as a symbol of his authority.
The South Carolina Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, SCSSAR, was organized on April 18, 1889 in a room at the South Carolina State House in Columbia. Today the State Society is composed of over 800 members and 19 chapters throughout the state.
Membership is open to any male who is able to trace his lineage directly to a man or woman who participated honorably in the American Revolution either as a member of the armed forces, serving in government or by providing supplies and support to those actively engaged in the Revolution.