The Daughters of the American Revolution Continental Congress is a time-honored tradition that has been held in Washington, D.C. as the annual national meeting of the DAR membership since the organization’s founding in 1890. Not to be confused with the United States “Congress,” the DAR national meeting is named after the original Continental Congress which governed the American Colonies during the Revolutionary War.
National, State and Chapter DAR leaders as well as other members from across the world meet at the DAR National Headquarters for a week during the summer to report on the year’s work, honor outstanding award recipients, plan future initiatives and reconnect with friends. Those in attendance include over 3,000 delegates representing the membership of 165,000 Daughters from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and many international chapters. Since its founding, the DAR has promoted historic preservation, education and patriotism and those objectives are reflected in all of the events of DAR Continental Congress.
The week-long convention consists of business sessions, committee meetings, social functions, and is topped off with four formal evening ceremonies: Opening Night, National Defense Night, State Regents Night and Gala Awards Night. These evening ceremonies, held in the historic DAR Constitution Hall, mix pomp and circumstance with touching award presentations and musical entertainment.
In addition to member awards and student essay and scholarship awards, the DAR presents its top national awards at the convention including:
- DAR Medal of Honor
- Founders Medals for Patriotism, Education, Heroism, and Youth
- Americanism Award
- DAR Media Award
- Outstanding Veteran-Patient of the Year
- Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year
- Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee Award for the Army Nurse of the Year
- Margaret Cochran Corbin Award for distinguished women in military service
- Outstanding Teacher of American History
- American History Scholarship Winner
- DAR Good Citizen of the Year
- Outstanding Community Service Award
- DAR Conservation Award
Recent notable speakers, award winners and entertainers have included Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Emmy award-winning journalist and best-selling author Cokie Roberts, actress Bo Derek, singer Wayne Newton, Oscar and Emmy award winning composer Bill Conti, Tuskegee Airman Luther Smith, and NASA astronaut Brigadier General Susan Helms.
DAR Members can visit the Members’ only Web site to learn more detailed information and make arrangements to attend the most anticipated DAR event of the year, DAR Continental Congress.