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Stephen A. Douglas NSDAR held monthly meeting at The Smith House

Members and guests of the Stephen A. Douglas Chapter, NSDAR met at the Smith House, Tuscola for the April meeting. Our guests included the speaker, Amanda Minor, and Colleen Lehman from the Douglas County Public Health Department. Mrs. Minor interestingly compared the current pandemic to being in a war from an individual’s point of view. 

National Defense Committee Chapter Chairman Jackie Joines told us March 13 is recognized as National K9 Veterans Day when the dedicated dogs who have served since World War II are recognized. More than a million dogs served on both sides during World War I; the practice was abandoned until the U.S. entered WWII in December 1941. At that time the American Kennel Association and a group called Dogs for Defense mobilized dog owners to donate healthy and capable animals to the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. The most famous dog to emerge from WWI was Rin Tin Tin who was an abandoned puppy of German war dogs found in France in 1918 and taken to the U.S. where he made his film debut in 1922 in a silent film “The Man from Hell’s River”. 

Initially over 30 breeds of dogs were accepted but the list was narrowed to seven: German Shepherds, Belgian Sheepdogs, Doberman Pinschers, Collies, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Eskimo Dogs. They served as sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs or mine-detection dogs. The most famous and decorated WWII dog was Chips who broke away from his handler and attacked an enemy machine gun nest, forcing the ten-member crew to surrender. At the end of the war, he returned to his family. 

Plans for the chapter’s 100th Anniversary are underway. The first official meeting of the Douglas County DAR Chapter was held on March 2, 1923 with 21 charter members. Mrs. John Chadwick served as the first chapter regent. Our official name was changed to Stephen A. Douglas Chapter on March 2, 1932. 

The DAR and the Sons of the American Revolution Good Citizens and their families will be honored by the Stephen A. Douglas NSDAR Chapter at a luncheon at noon at the Newman United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 16.

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