In the latter part of the 19th century, there was a groundswell of nationalism in the United States with numerous patriotic and preservation societies arising. In 1889, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of George Washington’s inaugural, a group of men in New York established the Sons of the American Revolution.
While the Sons voted not to allow women in their organization, their organizer, William O. McDowell, worked with Mary Smith Lockwood, Eugenia Washington, Ellen Hardin Walworth, and Mary Desha to establish the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The first meeting of the DAR was Aug. 9, 1890, and the first chapter was chartered on Oct. 11, 1890, with 11 dues-paying members. Today, DAR has about 190,000 members in about 3,000 chapters.