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How the Daughters of the American Revolution Works

DAR Objectives

Texas Society DAR members at a naturalization ceremony. DAR offers assistance to new U.S. citizens through education and encouragement.
Texas Society DAR members at a naturalization ceremony. DAR offers assistance to new U.S. citizens through education and encouragement.
Photo courtesy NSDAR

As we've discussed, DAR has three main objectives: historic preservation, patriotism and education. The group achieves these goals many different ways. Here is a sampling of how they go about it:

Historic Preservation

  • DAR donated $200,000 toward the restoration of historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia, more than $750,000 to the beautification and restoration of iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York City, and more than $500,000 to the new World War II memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
  • Every year DAR members across the country locate and beautify the final resting places of ancestors from the American Revolution.
  • The group has erected monuments honoring figures and important events throughout American history.

Education

  • DAR gives more than $1 million each year to six schools, specially chosen for the education they provide to children who have special needs, such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. Some of the schools provide a refuge to children with troubled home lives.
  • The group provides $70,000 to $100,000 in funds each year to American Indian schools.
  • DAR awards scholarships based on academic excellence in various areas. Disabled students, children of DAR members and American Indians are also eligible to apply for scholarships.

Patriotism

  • DAR gives schools, civic organizations and other groups thousands of American flags each year.
  • The organization provides the "DAR Manual for Citizenship" to immigrants. Since its first distribution in 1921 at Ellis Island, more than 10 million manuals have been given out.
  • DAR members provide volunteer aid to veterans.
  • The group awards two honors to Americans for "outstanding contributions to the nation" [source: DAR]. The Americanism Medal is given to naturalized citizens, while the DAR Medal of Honor is reserved for American-born citizens.

In addition to these initiatives, DAR produces several publications. American Spirit, DAR's official magazine, includes feature stories about historical topics, citizenship and education. A leaflet called National Defender is published monthly -- its topics focus on current issues. And, Daughters Newsletter exists to provide information to DAR members.

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DAR may have its roots in the past, but it's working hard to keep up with the times. In the next section, we'll learn about DAR's most recent programs and goals.

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