DAR Has Modernized In Cumberland County
By Bob Small
This is the third in a series about organizations who made appearances at the 2021 Bill of Rights Banquet.
The Cumberland County chapter of the DAR (Daughters of The American Revolution, is a woman’s volunteer service organization. Projects include collecting personal care items for the Lebanon Valley DAR project andfor the DAR Project Patriot for the US Army Base in Vilseck, Germany.
They have also placed a bench near the American Revolutionary War Exhibit along the Army Heritage trail by the Carlisle Army Heritage Center. See their project page and Molly Pitcher for other examples and information.
What I never knew was that Cumberland County was formed in 1750 from Lancaster County.
The Cumberland County DAR was founded on May 9, 1895 with 12 Charter Members.
The National DAR itself had their first meeting on Aug. 9, 1890 and was founded when the Sons of the American Revolution refused to allow women to join their group.
Unlike many legacy organizations, the DAR has found ways to reinvent itself. The Christian Science Monitor elucidates this.
In 2020, the national DAR created the E Pluribus Union initiative which seeks to include previously excluded Patriots. This project, for instance, includes an exhibition titled “Remembrance of Noble Actions: African Americans and Native Americans in the Revolutionary War”.
The first Afro-American was accepted by the national DAR in 1977. In 1984 their by-laws were rewritten to ban discrimination “on the basis of race and creed”, after previous incidents of exclusion.
More than 5,000 Afro-American men served in the Revolutionary War, along with Creoles, Frenchman and Mexicans.
Perhaps the most important test of any organization is whether they can include the truth of history as it really happened, not just as previously understood.