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Inside this Issue

July/August 2016

Glimpse into the lives and passions of the diverse group of women who comprise today’s DAR membership.

National Treasures
Take a step inside the DAR Museum for a closer look at its fascinating collection.

More Articles
Learn about the interesting historical articles from this issue.

To Come in Our Next Issue
Preview the exciting stories to be featured in the next issue of American Spirit.

Today's Daughters
Fired Up

By Lena Anthony  
Photograph courtesy of Michael Fiscella


When there’s an overnight emergency in her district, lieutenant firefighter and EMT Liza Babington doesn’t have to go far before springing into action. When she became a volunteer firefighter for the Boone County Fire Department in Columbia, Mo., in 2010, Lt. Babington also became a full-time resident at the fire station. In exchange for taking calls and responding to emergencies at night, she gets to live at the fire station rent-free.

As a resident, Lt. Babington responds to more calls than a typical firefighter in her district might. Car accidents, stranded cats in trees and medical emergencies are all commonplace in her mostly rural district.

“It’s important to remember that, no matter how big or small, every call is an emergency to someone,” she said. “Our job is to make sure everyone is OK and do what we can to help them.”   

At the scene of a fire, Lt. Babington takes on any necessary task, including assessing the situation, creating a plan of action, pumping the truck or fighting the fire. “I do like to play to my strengths when I can,” she said. “I’m really good with ropes, and I’m a great problem-solver. I’m small, so I can enter easily into small spaces, and I’m good with kids, especially little girls, because they can relate to me.”

Two years ago, her dedication to the community earned her the Matthew Smith Memorial Excellence Award, an honor given to a firefighter in the district who best exemplifies the high ideals, dedication and commitment that are so vital to the profession. Winning was such a surprise to Lt. Babington that she had to be tricked into attending the awards ceremony.

“I’m not a big awards person,” she said. “I believe all that truly matters is that I give my all and do the best job that I can. But it’s always nice to feel like the work I’m doing is what I should be doing.”

Being burned out by a previous career is part of what interested her in becoming a firefighter. “I was training horses professionally and decided I needed a change,” she said.

In addition to signing on as a volunteer firefighter, Lt. Babington also changed her day job. She’s now the manager of an outdoor retail store, where she gets to share her love of rock climbing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding with customers and fellow staff.

Her new endeavors have even brought her closer to her former passion. “After a couple of years off, I’ve been riding again,” she said. “I try to ride every day. Horses are definitely back in my life. I don’t know what role they’ll play going forward, but I know they’ll always be a part of it.”

She’s presently considering a move back home to St. Louis—about two hours from Columbia—to be closer to her boyfriend, Michael, and her family.

“My mom encouraged me to get involved with DAR, and it’s something we get to do together,” said Lt. Babington, a member of St. Louis-Jefferson DAR Chapter, St. Louis, Mo. She regularly pages at the Missouri State Conference and Continental Congress. The organization’s support of veterans is a draw for Lt. Babington, whose father is a Vietnam War Veteran and boyfriend was in the Marine Corps.

“I’m proud of their service, and I’m proud of the way DAR honors veterans,” she said. “Firefighting and the military are quite different, but there are similarities. They’re both about helping people and about being a part of something bigger than yourself.”

For more Today’s Daughters, please click here.

To nominate a Daughter for a future issue, e-mail a description to

National Treasures
A Banner Gift

Photography by Mark Gulezian

This 13-star banner, passed down through generations as a treasured heirloom, was considered by the donor’s family to be a Revolutionary War flag. However, it is much more likely to date after 1796—the earliest known use of this arrangement of stars. Congress’s 1777 “Flag Resolution” decreed only that there be 13 red and white stripes and white stars on a blue field. The resolution didn’t prescribe a certain arrangement, so the earliest flags display quite a variety of designs.

At some point, someone assumed this flag, like many early ones, must date to the Revolution. The donor was Dorothy Dufour Larkin, a member of the Camp Middlebrook DAR Chapter, Bound Brook, N.J., so it’s clear the family had Revolutionary roots, making it probable that this heirloom dates to the Revolutionary generation, if not the war era itself.

For more National Treasures, please visit the DAR Museum's Featured Objects.

More Articles

Long May She Wave by Courtney Peter
Founded in New Jersey in the mid- 1800s, Annin Flagmakers is still flourishing today—in part thanks to its help in forming a group dedicated to promoting the manufacture of U.S. flags in America by Americans.

The Regulation Movement by Bill Hudgins
A society dedicated to fighting exorbitant legal fees and corruption in the frontier counties of North Carolina was crushed at the 1771 Battle of Alamance. The legacy of bitterness caused some Regulators to side with the Loyalists during the Revolution.

Playing in the Colonies by Nancy Mann Jackson
With no iPads, TVs, Nerf guns or trampolines, early American children had to find ways to entertain themselves. We look at some of the popular games and toys in late 18thand early 19th-century America.

Marylanders at the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill by Patrick O’Donnell
A battle that the Americans lost set the stage for eventual victory. Despite losing the field at Hobkirk’s Hill, General Nathanael Greene slowly reclaimed South Carolina, post by post.


Spirited Adventures: Greenville, S.C. by Jamie Roberts
Explore the Piedmont region’s rich history and beautiful green spaces with a trip to this Upcountry treasure in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Historic Homes: Van Bunschooten Museum by Lena Anthony
Peek nside this 1787 Dutch Colonial, which today serves as headquarters for the Chinkchewunska DAR Chapter, Wantage, N.J.

Our Patriots: Daniel Morgan by Emily McMackin
At the Battle of Cowpens, General Morgan’s experienced but untrained militia, along with 300 Continentals, defeated the better-trained British army.

Plus the President General’s Message and Whatnot

To purchase an issue of American Spirit, contact

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To Come in September/October 2016:

Reproducing Historic Wallpapers
Noah Webster, Dictionary Man
America’s Union Stations