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The Arkansas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (ARDAR) is a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), which has 2,975 chapters in the United States and twenty-two international chapters.
The NSDAR was founded on October 11, 1890, by Eugenia Washington, a grandniece of George Washington, along with Mary Desha, Mary Lockwood, and Ellen Hardin Walworth. In December 1893, the first Arkansas chapter of the DAR was founded in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Georgiana Washington Smith, another grandniece of Washington’s, was one of its earliest members. The first ARDAR State Conference was in February 1909 at the Marion Hotel in Little Rock (Pulaski County).
ARDAR members have made lasting contributions to the state and its history. The ARDAR helped rescued the Old State House in Little Rock from demolition and has worked toward its preservation and restoration. Willie K. Hocker, a member from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), created the design that became the official state flag. Members in Arkadelphia (Clark County) created a living World War I memorial by planting a tree in soil imported from each state and each Allied country.
The society stands for “Faith, Education, Preservation; Our Keys to God, Home and Country.” The Official Insignia of the NSDAR is a golden wheel. It was ratified in May 1891 and patented the following September. It depicts a spinning wheel. The distaff is usually white gold or platinum and denotes straw. Once paired with the blue rim of the wheel, the insignia bears the official colors of the NSDAR. There are thirteen stars on the wheel to symbolize the thirteen original colonies.
The DAR has three main objectives. The first is the historical objective “to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence.” The state chapter is active in the preservation of historic sites and their traditions. The ARDAR also promotes the preservation of all records, especially genealogical records. Second is the educational objective “to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge.” The ARDAR promotes literacy and the teaching of U.S. history. It aids six DAR schools and awards scholarships locally and nationally. Third is the patriotic objective “to cherish, maintain, and extend the institution of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.”
The ARDAR is active in community service, as well as service to veterans. It sponsors Constitution Week activities and organizes patriotic clubs, such as the Junior American Citizens, in schools.
To be a member, a woman must be at least eighteen years old and prove through genealogical research that she is a lineal descendant of a patriot of the American Revolution. The state has forty-seven chapters and more than 2,400 members.
For additional information:Arkansas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. http://www.geocities.com/dar1777/arkstate.html (accessed September 24, 2005).
National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. http://www.dar.org (accessed September 17, 2005).
Our First Hundred Years, 1893–1993: Chapter Histories of the Arkansas State Society, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. Little Rock: Arkansas State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1994.
Last Updated 12/1/2014
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