Inside this Issue
Glimpse into the lives and passions of the diverse group of women who comprise today’s DAR membership.
Take a step inside the DAR Museum for a closer look at its fascinating collection.
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.
Playing to Her Strengths
Volume 151, Number 5
By Lena Anthony
Photograph courtesy of Meghan Ralph-Soular Radiant Photography
In her 22 years as a teacher, Darcy Kennedy taught future doctors, lawyers, actors and even two judges—the types of students any teacher would dream of having in her classroom. But when she looks back at her teaching career, those star students aren’t the ones who stand out the most. Instead, it’s the ones who barely made it—the ones who needed more attention and effort to succeed.
“One parent came to me and said I saved her son’s life,” said Mrs. Kennedy, a member of Piney Creek DAR Chapter, Centennial, Colo. “He was on a really rough path. I was able to spend time with him and learn who he was instead of being afraid of him.”
For the last 11 years, Mrs. Kennedy taught at a charter school that served primarily an at-risk student body—students and families who had challenges in their life whether it be academic, socio-economic or language hurdles.
“It was almost like a one-room school, and I taught everything from math and science to
history and language arts. I mentored and worked one-on-one with them to help these students finish their education.”
She also regularly took her students, many of whom were English language learners, to local naturalization ceremonies where they handed out flags and ushered new citizens to their seats.
“I thought it was important for them to know their responsibilities as citizens, and to see that immigrants were and still are the foundation of our country,” she said.
Her class also routinely participated in the DAR American History Essay Contest—two of her students read their essays at a 2016 chapter meeting—and helped with community projects led by the Piney Creek DAR Chapter. They celebrated Constitution Week by memorizing the preamble to the Constitution and listening to stories about Mrs. Kennedy’s father, who served in World War II and the Korean War.
The charter school closed earlier this year, but Mrs. Kennedy is still serving non-
traditional learners as a student services adviser at an online college. Using email, phone calls and text messages, her job is to be their cheerleader and motivate them in their coursework. When needed, she also connects them to social services that can help them pay their bills and improve their health.
Now that her four children are grown, she’s dedicating more time to another
passion—performing. After earning her master’s degree in performance and acting in 1985, she worked for a year with a multicultural theatre company in Denver. While raising a family, she put acting on the back burner until 2014, when she landed a small role as a nurse in a play called “The Lyons.” Since then, she has acted in 11 other productions, including “To Kill a Mockingbird.” On September 1, she started a six-week run as Mattie Fae in “August: Osage County.”
“Theatre is my joy,” she said. “I love performing and being able to reach audiences. Denver has an extremely talented pool of actors, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
She also uses her talents in service to DAR since joining five years ago. Mrs. Kennedy serves as her chapter’s National Defense Chair and enjoys making historical and current event presentations at chapter meetings. She’s also the star of her chapter’s YouTube videos calling for essay contest participants.
“I love that DAR allows you to find your niche,” she said. “Whatever interests you, DAR has a job for you.”
For more Today’s Daughters, please click here.
To nominate a Daughter for a future issue, e-mail a description to email@example.com.
Harvest in Hand
Volume 151, Number 5, September/October 2017, Page 4
Photography by Patrick Sheary
This ceramic creamware jug was made in Liverpool, England, sometime between 1790 and 1800. Jugs like this often featured transfer-printed decorations. These embellishments included political statements, genre scenes and commemorative portraits of famous people. This jug’s scene, titled “Harvest Home,” portrays the act of wheat harvesting. A merry group of farmers dances and celebrates the bountiful harvest in the foreground. In addition to scenic decorations, purchasers could also personalize a jug by adding their name. People used jugs to serve water, milk, cider and beer.
For more National Treasures, please visit the DAR Museum's Featured Objects.
Patriot Victory at Saratoga by Bill Hudgins
This fall marks the 240th anniversary of the battles of Saratoga, the stunning American victory in the wilds of New York state that ended a monthslong British campaign to divide New York and New England from the rest of the rebellious Colonies.
The Mason-Dixon Line by Courtney Peter
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon left England for the Colonies to resolve a decades-long violent dispute over the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania. They began the job as peacemakers, having no idea that in the century to come the invisible line bearing their names would become a chasm.
Early American Esquires by Lena Anthony
Nearly half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were lawyers by trade. What paths did they take to get there?
Burn, Brand, Hang, Shame by Nancy Mann Jackson
Early American penalties for criminals often involved public shaming and other humiliating punishments such as pillories, stocks and whipping posts.
Connecticut’s Caverns of Punishment by Nancy Mann Jackson
One of the American Revolution’s most notorious prisons, New-Gate Prison in East Granby, Conn., held political prisoners in the cavernous tunnels left behind in a former copper mine.
Spirited Adventures: Great Smoky Mountains by Megan Hamby
The Southeast’s not-so-hidden gem on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina is far and away America’s most-visited national park.
Historic Homes: Major Benjamin May House by Sharon McDonnell
Though the Patriot’s original home is no longer standing, one bearing his name now serves as a unique DAR meeting house in the small town of Farmville, N.C.
Our Patriots: Timothy Matlack by Jamie Roberts
Timothy Matlack, a colorful, contradictory and popular Revolutionary leader, is credited as the scribe of the Declaration of Independence.
Plus the President General’s Message and Whatnot
To purchase an issue of American Spirit, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe to American Spirit, visit Subscribe.
To Come in November/December 2017:
The History of Wreaths