The year was 1876, and it was a hot summer in San Francisco. According to the Daily Chronicle, "Our solid businessmen, who were compelled to be upon the streets, disregarded ceremony altogether and unbuttoned coats and vests, and many threw aside altogether their coats, preferring not to sacrifice comfort to appearances. . .The saloons all over the city had reason to bless the advent of the heated spell, for their business was surely increased to double its usual run. Old topers found their capacity for liquors greatly augmented, and presented their rosy faces at the bars of their favorite indulging place twice as often as they ordinarily do.
"The moderate drinkers had their ranks reinforced by the crowds of those who never drink, but who suddenly discovered a great amount of virtue in lemonade and soda-cocktails. "Let's take a drink" was the universal cry from all quarters yesterday, and more such invitations were accepted than is ordinarily the case."
Despite the heat, many celebrations to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4 were being planned. As part of this patriotic fervor, a group of men in the San Francisco, California, area who were descendants of patriots involved in the American Revolution, formed an organization called the Sons of Revolutionary Sires. Their objective was to have a fraternal and civic society to salute those men and women who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the battle for independence from Great Britain. The Sons of Revolutionary Sires desired to keep alive their ancestors’ story of patriotism and courage in the belief that it is a universal one of man’s struggle against tyranny--a story which would inspire and sustain succeeding generations when they would have to defend and extend our freedoms.
Out of the Sons of Revolutionary Sires grew the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, which was organized on April 30, 1889, the one hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as our nation’s first president. We have used the acronym SAR to identify ourselves for over one hundred years. The SAR was conceived as a fraternal and civic society composed of lineal descendants of the patriots who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in the battles of the American Revolution, served in the Continental Congress, or otherwise supported the cause of American Independence. The National Society was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress on June 9, 1906. The charter was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was also a member of the Empire State Society, SAR. The charter authorizes the granting of charters to societies of the various states and territories and authorizes the state-level societies to charter chapters within their borders. Federal Legislation then established a federal charter for the National Society, SAR.