Local DAR chapter celebrates US Constitution Week

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Members of the Thomas Heyward, Jr. Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and friends gathered Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Beaufort’s Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, near the bust of Thomas Heyward, Jr. to mark the beginning of Constitution Week, the week-long national celebration of America’s most important document, the United States Constitution.

Mrs. Nancy Crowther, vice regent of the Thomas Heyward, Jr., chapter, presided over the celebration. The chapter chaplain, Mrs. Gladys Cousar, offered the opening and closing prayers. 

Mike McFee, Mayor Pro Tem of Beaufort, presented chapter historian Jouette Duckworth with a Certificate of Proclamation signed by Mayor Billy Keyserling. S.C. Governor Henry McMaster sent a proclamation, as well.

The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started decades ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, the DAR petitioned the U.S. Congress to set aside Sept. 17-23 annually for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was adopted by Congress and signed into Public Law 915 on Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

A quick history lesson, courtesy of a release from the DAR.:

The United States of America functions as a Republic under the Constitution, the oldest document still in active use that outlines the self-government of a people. This landmark idea that men had the inalienable right as individuals to be free and live their lives under their own governance was the impetus of the American Revolution.

The 38 signers of the U.S. Constitution were delegates from the original states who gathered several times, in several places, first drafting the Declaration of Independence signed by South Carolina representatives Thomas Heyward Jr., Thomas Lynch Jr., Arthur Middleton and Edward Rutledge.

Once the colonists defeated the British army and won independence, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, on Nov. 15, 1777 with Henry Laurens, William Henry Drayton, John Mathews, Richard Hutson, and Thomas Heyward, Jr. as delegates representing South Carolina. 

The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments. The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. 

The present U.S. Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789. The signing delegates representing South Carolina were: John Rutledge, Charles Coteswortth Pinckney, and Pierce Butler.


The Thomas Heyard Jr. Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution continued their celebration of Constitution Week on Wednesday, Sept. 18 after receiving an official proclamation from the City of Beaufort. Chapter historian Jouette Duckworth  received the proclamation from Beaufort City Councilman Mike McFee during a brief but patriotic ceremony at the bust of Thomas Heyward. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

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