National Moment of Remembrance

The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

Decoration Day (Memorial Day) 

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Memorial Day: Vintage 

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day to remember those who have died in service of the United States of America. Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. 

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

Eugenia Washington

Eugenia Washington was born on June 24, 1840, near Charlestown in current West Virginia. She was the daughter of William Temple Washington and Margaret Calhoun Fletcher. In 1859, when she was nineteen years old, the family moved to Falmouth, Virginia. Her mother died around this time and her father was disabled. He relied on her as his primary caretaker. The Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 was inevitable so she wanted to leave there to get her father to a safer place. However, she was delayed because a wounded federal officer was brought to her door and placed in her care while he waited for a surgeon. By the time she could leave, the battle had already begun so she and her father were caught on the battlefield. She found shelter for them in a small trench left by a cannon. It was not safe enough for them to leave this spot so they witnessed the entire battle from the trench. Miss Washington’s experiences that day reportedly inspired her to assist women from both the North and the South in the cause of preserving their shared heritage through the founding of DAR. 
Miss Washington was eventually offered a government position with the post office department. It was then that she and her father moved to Washington, DC. She was attractive and known lovingly as “Miss Eugie.” It is said that she always received a great deal of attention wherever she went. Eugenia Washington died at her home in Washington on Thanksgiving Day, November 30, 1900.

Ellen Walworth

Ellen Walworth was born on October 20, 1832, in Jacksonville, Illinois. Her father, John Hardin, became a United States Congressman. In 1846 Mr. Hardin entered the army to fight against Mexico and was killed while leading his regiment at the battle of Buena Vista. The family continued to live in Jacksonville until 1851. Mrs. Walworth’s mother married the Honorable Reuben Hyde Walworth and moved the family to Saratoga Springs, New York. 
Mrs. Walworth earned her law degree at New York University. In 1852 she married Mansfield Tracy Walworth, her stepfather’s youngest son, and opened her home as a boarding and day school after her husband’s death in 1873. 

Eventually the cold New York winters affected her health and she began to make her home in Washington, DC, during the winter. 
Mrs. Walworth’s is responsible for public efforts to her local community to contribute to renovate George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, in Alexandria, Virginia. Mrs. Walworth wrote about patriotic subjects and was considered an authority on the battlefields of Saratoga. She also published an account of the Burgoyne campaign. She served as director-general of the Woman’s National War Relief Association of 1898. She was also the first editor of the official publication of the NSDAR, the American Monthly Magazine, serving from the spring of 1892 until July 1894. She died on June 23, 1915, and was laid to rest in the family lot at Green Ridge, near Saratoga, New York.

Mary Desha

Mary Desha was born on March 8, 1850, in Lexington, Kentucky. She was educated and even attended the University of Kentucky for a short time. Her family became impoverished by the Civil War and the women were needed to provide an income. Miss Desha and her mother opened a private school and several years later, she accepted a position with the Lexington public school system where she worked for several years before taking a job as a clerk in Washington, DC. 
After a few years in Washington, she eventually accepted a teaching position in Sitka, Alaska, in 1888. She found the living conditions of the Alaskan natives unacceptable so she wrote a protest to the government in Washington which resulted in a federal investigation. She returned to Lexington and later Washington, DC where she continued in the civil service until her death. She spent a lot of her free time working hours acting as an Assistant Director of the DAR Hospital Corps during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Upon her death, her fellow Daughters honored her memory with the first memorial service ever held in Memorial Continental Hall.

Mary S. Lockwood

Mary Lockwood was born in Hanover, Chautauqua County, New York, on October 24, 1831. She moved to Washington, DC, in about 1878. Mrs. Lockwood’s residence was known as Washington’s Strathmore Arms. It was here on October 11, 1890, that the formal organization of the NSDAR took place. 
Mrs. Lockwood was the NSDAR’s first historian and the Society, inspired by Mrs. Lockwood’s. She held many other national offices and served as editor of the DAR Magazine from 1894 to 1900.
Mrs. Lockwood was an author of many books. Her last book, The Historic Homes of Washington, was dedicated to her older brother. An acquaintance noted that “she is friendly to all progressive movements, especially so in the progress of women.” 

Mary Lockwood died in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on November 9, 1922, and is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. She was not only the last surviving Founder, but is also the only Founder buried in Washington.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was founded on October 11, 1890 by four determined women and a supporting patriotic citizens. The four founders were not traditional. They were: Mary Desha, Mary S. Lockwood, Ellen Walworth and Eugenia Washington. 

On October 11, 1890, eighteen women and four men met in Washington to organize the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) was founded in New York City on April 30, 1889. Some SAR societies permitted women and some did not. At the next year’s general meeting on April 30, 1890, the matter was put to a vote and the SAR decided to officially exclude women from its membership.
This sparked controversy in the national press, and caught the attention of Mary Smith Lockwood. Mrs. Lockwood wrote an editorial that was published in the Washington Post on July 13, 1890 which included the question, “Were there no mothers of the Revolution?”
William O. McDowell, Vice President General of SAR, disagreed with the vote and believed that women should form their own similar patriotic organization. He wrote his own letter to the Post, which was published on July 21, where he urged women to organize their own organization and even offered his assistance. 
Eighteen women attended the first official organizing meeting held on October 11, 1890 at the Strathmore Arms boarding house at 810 12th Street, the home of Mrs. Lockwood. These include the four women traditionally considered to be the organization’s founders: Mrs. Lockwood, Miss Desha, Miss Eugenia Washington, and Mrs. Ellen Hardin Walworth. Four men also attended the meeting and formed the first Advisory Board to the NSDAR.