As a Son of the American Revolution it’s interesting to look back at what happened in the month of March in the Revolutionary War timeline. It was a cold, snowy night on March 5, 1770 when a mob of American colonists gathered at the Customs House in Boston and began taunting the British soldiers guarding the building. The protesters, who called themselves Patriots, were protesting the occupation of their city by British troops, who were sent to Boston in 1768 to enforce unpopular taxation measures passed by a British parliament that lacked American representation. These men must have been very upset with the British to go out in masse in the cold and stage this protest.
One of the Patriots threw a snowball at a British soldier. The soldier fired his rifle at the crowd. The other soldiers panicked and also began firing their rifles into the crowd. When the smoke cleared five colonists were dead or dying and three more were injured. This tragic event was recorded in history as the Boston Massacre and some historians view these casualties as the first fatalities in the American Revolutionary War. So, it could be said that the Revolutionary War was started by a snowball fight.
Last month our chapter color guard proudly participated in the Massing of the Colors and Salute to Armed Forces at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills. Many of the local SAR chapter color guards support this event. We are still looking for a few more volunteers to march in our chapter color guard.
Our chapter is still in need of a volunteer to lead our ROTC committee. Our chapter supports making awards to worthy cadets who exemplify the spirit of our Revolutionary War ancestors at five (5) local high schools and Cal State Fullerton. This position does not require much personal time and the process is already in place. Hope to see you all at our March meeting which happens to fall this year on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.
R. Scott Whitman
February Dinner Meeting: Past CASSAR President and Orange County chapter Registrar Kent Gregory presented a talk on the SAR Education Center and Museum which will house galleries and exhibits highlighting the ideals of our patriot ancestors and tell the story of the American Revolution on the world stage. The presentation revealed details of the planned internal architecture of the museum which revolves around different exhibit areas for the distinct periods of the revolutionary era where historical timelines and artifacts will be displayed. The intended mission is to provide education and awareness of the events of the American Revolution and their historical significance, which many feel is not adequately covered by today’s education system. The facility, located at SAR headquarters in Louisville, KY, is scheduled to open on the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. Below, Kent Gregory received our Certificate of Appreciation from Steve Steinberg and President, Scott Whitman.
Chapter Registrar, Leon Smith, presented to Compatriot Dale Tarkington a supplemental certificate for Dales’ patriot ancestor Philip Jinkins Scroggin, who assisted in establishing American Independence while acting in the capacity of Bombardier in Captain Edward Gale’s Company of Maryland Artillery, 1779-1780.
JROTC/ROTC Chairman: We are in urgent need of a JROTC/ROTC Chairman. Minimum effort is required in this position. The Chairman needs to contact the JROTC/ROTC Commanders at each school (1 college and 6 high schools) to obtain their recommendation of a cadet to receive our medal and certificate.
We normally have volunteers that present the medals and certificates and if a volunteer is not available, the certificate/medal is mailed to the JROTC/ROTC Commander for presentation to the cadet. All presentations are done in the April to early June time frame. If you can volunteer for this important position, please contact Chapter President Scott Whitman.
State and National SAR News
California Society Annual Meeting
The 145th Annual Meeting of the California Society will be held April 17-18, 2020 at The Murieta Inn and Spa in Rancho Murieta. This year’s meeting is hosted by the Sacramento chapter. https://www.californiasar.org/events/145th-annual-meeting-of-the-california-society/
Upcoming Dates and Events
Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, March 17 – See page 1 for details.
The Swallows’ Day Parade – Saturday, March 21: The 62nd Swallows’ Day Parade and Mercado Street Faire will be held on Saturday, March 21st. The Fiesta de la Golondrinas, or Festival of the Swallows, celebrates the return of the migratory songbird to Mission San Juan Capistrano on St. Joseph’s Day. This event is the reason behind all the fun festivities.
The Swallows’ Day Parade is the nation’s largest non-motorized parade so it is a spectacular event that you will want to attend. In addition to our Color Guard marching in the parade, many members of DAR and CAR will be marching in this parade.
Arrive early as most street closures are in effect by 10:00 a.m. There is free parking at designated parking lots and shuttle service. The shuttle service is only $2. For complete details, go to parade website at www.swallowsparade.com.
Currently volunteers are in the process of entering the lineages on SAR applications into the website so that they can be viewed online. There are four members of the South Coast Chapter participating in this effort. At the latest tally, we have entered the data on 154 of the 363 applications for our chapter or 42%. If you want to join our volunteer effort please contact me and I will put you in touch with the compatriots running this project.
Massing of the Colors 2020
By Kevin Forrest, Color Guard Commander
On Sunday February 16th, the South Coast Chapter Color Guard took part in the 38th Annual Massing of the Colors, in Celebration of George Washington’s birth. Held at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, and sponsored by the Sons of Liberty Chapter of the SAR, the Massing of the Colors is one of the largest celebrations of its kind on the West Coast.
The annual event draws ROTC and Junior ROTC Color Guard units from area Colleges and High Schools, as well as the attendance of many Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard units. In addition to the entrance of the Color Guard units, those in attendance heard from military representatives, National Color Guard Commander Jim Fosdyck (OC Chapter) and were treated to a speech by “General Washington”. A flyover of vintage military planes and cannon salutes helped to round out the Event.
This year marked the return of the South Coast Chapter Color Guard to the event. In attendance were Chapter President Scott Whitman (American Flag), Jr. Member Shane Gates (Drummer), Jr. Member Nolan Forrest (SAR Flag), and Color Guard Commander Kevin Forrest (Musketeer). Here is our SCSAR Color Guard posing and marching in the Massing of the Colors.
We joined our brothers from the Harbor, Kern, Orange County, Redlands, Riverside, San Diego, and Ventura chapters. Here are all of the Color Guards marching with their flags:
And, here is the group posing together by the mural at Forest Lawn: