October 2020

President’s Message

Dear Compatriots,

Hope all is well with you and yours. The pandemic is still upon us impacting our daily lives and our opportunity to meet as a group. Sadly, the Zoom meeting held on September 15th was poorly attended. This month we have more time to provide the notification which should help enhance the attendance. Please seriously think about attending the Tuesday, October 20th meeting which will need to be another virtual on-line video meeting. Instead of a featured speaker at the last meeting we showed a historical video on the Battle of the Chesapeake. Likely, we will do something similar at the October meeting. If you are like me, I enjoy learning of American Revolution history and its impact on the formation of the USA.

As noted last month it’s is important that we attempt to continue to meet, albeit virtually, to maintain connections to the chapter and its membership. I look forward to “seeing” you on my computer screen.

The good news is the chapter’s financial health is solid and the membership count is stable. The initiative to revise the Chapter Bylaws was voted on and passed. This is the first change to the chapter by-laws since formation of the chapter in 1986.

Columbus Day is on October 12th, and commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. It was in 1937 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal organization. Columbus’ reputation is tarnished of late due to his association with slavery.

Herewith is another plea to the membership to volunteer to fill any of the open positions on the chapter board. If you feel the calling to support your SAR chapter as a board member please contact me and we will find a position that fits your particular interests.

The in-person Fall meeting of the CASSAR was recently cancelled due to the pandemic and will now be a Zoom meeting. I plan on attending.

Stay safe everyone.

In compatriotism,

Scott Whitman

South Coast SAR Monthly Meeting

7:00 PM, Tuesday, October 15, 2020

Zoom Video Conference Instructions

We will be using the Zoom Videoconferencing application for the South Coast SAR Monthly Meeting

Members will be emailed a meeting link and meeting ID.

on Tuesday, October 15, at 7:00 PM.  If you are new to Zoom, below is a link to an online tutorial for new users on How to Join a Zoom Meeting.  I am also providing a list of a few helpful tips to get you started using Zoom before the day of the meeting.

Getting Started: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697

How to join a Zoom Meeting (new or occasional users):

Zoom Meeting Tutorial

This is an excellent up-to-date short walk thru of many of the ZOOM features.

Helpful tips:

  • View the tutorial (above)
  • Don’t wait until the evening of the meeting to Install the Zoom application or test it.  Do it now.
  • Install the Zoom application on the device you plan to use for the meeting: Desktop computer, laptop, tablet or cell phone.  For tablets and cell phones go to your device App Store.  For Desktop and Laptops go to Zoom.com
  • Test the Zoom application to make sure it is working before the meeting:  Zoom Test
  • On the evening of the meeting, find a quiet, private room or area where you will not be disturbed, and where there will not be dogs barking, people talking, dishes clattering, or TV’s blaring.
  • This is a video meeting so wear appropriate clothing: a shirt with shorts, jeans, or slacks
  • About 5-10 minutes before the Open Forum begins, join the meeting using a link or meeting ID.
  • You may need to wait online before being admitted to join the meeting at 7:00 PM.
  • If you are not talking, please MUTE the microphone on your device. (Mute button or key in *6)
  • DO NOT CONNECT to the Zoom meeting using 2 devices located in the same room. The audio feedback will disrupt the entire meeting.
  • If you have a question that cannot wait for the Q&A, then UNMUTE and ask to interrupt.
  • Always stay on topic, be concise, and get to the point without telling a story.

Other links:

Zoom website: https://www.zoom.us/

Zoom Help Center: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us 

Thank you for participating in the South Coast SAR Monthly Meeting!

State and National SAR News

November 13-14, 2020:  The 145th Fall CASSAR Fall Board of Managers meeting planned for Rohnert Park, CA has now been canceled.  The California Society will hold a Zoom virtual Board of Managers meeting on Saturday, November 14, 2020, beginning at 9:00 AM Pacific Time.

Upcoming Dates and Events.

Columbus Day – Monday, October 12:

Commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492.  It is still an official US Holiday despite controversy.

U.S. Navy Birthday – Tuesday, October  13:  The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Congress Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775.

October Chapter (Zoom) Meeting-Tuesday, October 20:  See page 1 for details.

U.S. Marine Corps Birthday-Tuesday, November 10:  A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.  The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775 officially forming the “Continental Marines.”

Veteran’s Day – Wednesday, November 11:  This is the special day to remember those who served and fought in the defense of our country.

SOCCGS Family History Seminar:  The South Orange County California Genealogy Society has canceled their seminar for this year, per SOCCGS’s web site:


In Memoriam — James F. Blauer

James Freeman Blauer was born in Newport Beach on July 20,1952. He was the second son to John Winthrop Blauer and Ann Pauline Kalbus Blauer.

Jim was killed Friday, Oct 2 after the bicycle he was riding collided with a tow truck on Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa, California. 

Jim got his vocal start by singing in the children’s choir at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church. That was the first of many choirs that would engage his beautiful voice. One of his favorite songs was the National Anthem which he sang at many a wreath laying ceremonies and SAR events. He also enjoyed scouting and aquatics. James earned his Eagle Scout award as a teenager. 

Jim received an AA from Orange Coast College and a BA and teaching credential from Cal State Fullerton, majoring in Social Studies.

After college, Jim was a substitute teacher, working part-time at a pizza parlor. He worked a number of years for K-Mart, earning The Chairman Award. He then worked at Rite Aid until the time of his death. 

In his spare time, Jim pursued a number of interests, including genealogy, stamp collecting, and coin collecting. He had a passion for books and collections of any kind! 

Jim joined the Sons of the American Revolution in April 1981 (#118472) and was a devoted member of the Orange County Chapter, the California SAR, and the SAR Color Guard. Jim received the SAR Patriot Medal in 2005 from the California Society as well as many other SAR medals and awards over his 39-year membership. In addition to the SAR, Jim was a member of the Mayflower Society and several other lineage societies.

Jim shared his calligraphy skills with the Eagle Scouts, by preparing their certificates. In his spare time, he tended to his sweet peas and baked his famous oatmeal scotches, brownies, and lemon meringue pies to share with his many friends! 

Jim is survived by his brother, John Blauer, sister in law, Kathy Blauer, nieces and nephews, Robbie Blauer, Vanessa Blauer, Chad Blauer, Shannon Blauer, and grand niece and nephew, Valentina and Sebastian Blauer. He will be greatly missed as a loving, kind, giving, cheerful, lover of life!

A memorial service was held by the Orange County SAR chapter on Saturday, Oct 11 at the Santa Ana Elks Lodge.


Surrender of General Burgoyne following the Battles of Saratoga

October 17, 1777

Moran, Percy, Artist. Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga / Percy Moran. United States, ca. 1911. (Library of Congress)

Here, in 1777, during the American War for Independence, American troops battled and beat a British invasion force, marking the first time in world history that a British Army ever surrendered. This crucial victory secured essential foreign recognition and support, instigated world-wide wars, affirmed United States independence, and changed the face of the world. The American forces were led by General Horatio Gates and included General Benedict Arnold.

The first Battle of Saratoga, also called the Battle of Freeman’s Farm, began on September 19, 1777.  The initial forward action by the British encountered Colonel Daniel Morgan’s American light infantry and riflemen resulting in a fierce battle which went back and forth.  Although the British were able to hold the field that day, they suffered heavy casualties including many of their officers picked off by American sharpshooters.

The second Battle of Saratoga, the Battle of Bemis Heights, occurred on October 7.  With the British forces running low on supplies, a foray was sent out to observe the American position, however they hesitated at Barber’s wheat field to harvest the much-needed ripened wheat. Around mid-afternoon, the Americans, aware of the British movement, attacked. Their now 13000-man army was able to push the British back. As the British withdrew, one of their beloved Generals, Simon Fraser, was mortally wounded by one or more of Morgan’s riflemen. 

After burying General Fraser and having packed up what supplies they could, Burgoyne’s army began a hasty retreat north. They trudged through cold rain, mud, and hunger until reaching the village of Saratoga. Finding themselves boxed in by American militia soldiers north, west, and east of the village, they set up a fortified camp and waited. Two days later, the Americans had completely surrounded them. After a week of negotiations, Burgoyne surrendered to Gates, on October 17, 1777. Because of the incredible impact caused by the American victory in the Battles of Saratoga, they are known as the “Turning Point of the American Revolution”, and are considered by many historians to be among the top 15 battles in world history.

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