Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

December 2016



        Meeting announcement

        November meeting

        Revolution education note

        Program Schedule

        Wreathes across America

        Misc. reminders and information



There will be NO December 10 meeting of the Tampa Chapter

Due to confusion, first with the American Legion as to when we could meet at their building and then with Grille 116 as to the availability of their meeting room, it was decided to cancel our meeting for December 10 rather than announce yet another date and/or location.


Charles and Victoria have graciously offered to host our meeting at their house in conjunction with the December 17 Wreaths Across America.  The meeting will start at 1:30 or as soon as possible after the WAA Ceremony (see more details below).  It will be a brief formal meeting, primarily to elect officers for 2017, followed by social time until 3:30.  Their home is at 6500 Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. 


November Meeting

We had a busy meeting in November with lots of activity.

Compatriot Bob Yarnell gave his excellent presentation on the nine different dates at eight different locations (two in Florida) that lay claim to being the first true Thanksgiving celebration in the New World.  Bob conducted a single elimination run off to determine which date that the Tampa Chapter believes (at least for this year) to be the first true Thanksgiving celebration.  In the "finals" vote, the members and guests were near unanimous in selecting the French Huguenots who held a Thanksgiving celebration on their arrival in the New World at the mouth of the St. Johns River in 1564.  We hear little of the Huguenots Thanksgiving because their colony was wiped out by the Spanish just a year or so after their arrival.  The "runner up" was the Pilgrims 1623 (not 1621) Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth.    


We also inducted two new families into the Tampa Chapter. 

James E Ledbetter and his son Peyton were on hand to accept their membership certificates and also accept those for other son James P Ledbetter and brothers Billy and John Ledbetter. 

Jason Krajnyak was there to accept membership certificates for himself and his young son Gilbert who was not able to join him.    



We have two other compatriots whose membership applications have been approved: Andrew Anders and William Swain.  However, their membership certificates did not get all the way to Tampa before our November meeting. 


Following our Law Enforcement recognition in October, we recognized Chief Dennis W. Jones of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue for his many years (1978 - present) of service as a fire fighter for the City of Tampa as well as Hillsborough County.  Compatriot David Bryant presented the SAR Fire Fighter Commendation medal and certificate as well as a gift card to a local restaurant to Chief Jones.  

In recognition of Veterans Day and to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, the Tampa Chapter SAR and Winding Waters Chapter DAR recognized those members, prospects and guests present who served on active duty during the Vietnam War Era (1955 - 1975). 

Revolution Education note

Over the years in the December newsletter, this space has dealt with the Boston Tea Party (Dec. 1773) and Washington crossing the Delaware (Dec. 1776) which are about the only two really important events that occurred in December.  Occasionally, members have wondered why Christmas during the colonial era has never been addressed.   The simple answer is that most of the trappings we associate with the celebration of Christmas ---trees, ornaments, cards, gifts, the focus on children—all come to us from the mid to late 1800’s.  Having said that, this month’s column will look at how the holidays were celebrated in colonial America.

They did observe advent but, with the exception of going to church, there was no “build up” to December 25th.  Once December 25th rolled around, they began the observance of the 12 days of Christmas—Dec.25 to Jan. 6.

December 25th would have meant going to church, maybe hanging some greens around the windows and perhaps having a slightly bigger main meal.  Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, was the day gifts were given.  Some cash, little books and some sweets were given in small portions by masters or parents to dependents—whether slaves, servants, apprentices or children. There was no reciprocal gift giving.  It was not expected that those receiving these small tokens would give back likewise.  Gift giving on New Years was very much from the top down.  Also, on Jan. 1 people visited friends and neighbors and wished them a happy new year—that part hasn’t changed.

The main event of the holiday observances was the twelfth night—the night of Jan. 6.  On Jan. 6 there would have been large feasts, dances, balls, and parties to celebrate the end of the holidays.

Due to the influence of Prince Albert of England, Charles Dickens, Clement Moore and the Dutch and German immigrants to the U.S., our celebration/observance of Christmas changed during the 1800’s.  But it is perhaps refreshing to at least remember a time when the focus of December 25 was church, gift giving was top down and low key, and parties were mostly reserved for the end of the season. 


I wish you and yours a happy holiday season and, as always, express my thanks for the many kind words that have come my way as a result of these monthly jottings. (BY)




Below is the tentative program schedule.

Dec 17 - Wreaths Across America at the American Legion Hall on                       Kennedy Blvd in Tampa  (see below) followed by brief meeting                     at home of Victoria and Charles Klug

Jan 21 - Officer Installation - The Rusty Pelican (details to come)

Feb 18-    

March 18 -

April 15 - JROTC recognition

May--Rodney Kite-Powell: History of the Tampa Bay Area

        Tampa Bay History Center  (tentative and possible joint meeting            with C.A.R)





Wreaths Across America

The Tampa Chapter is once again a sponsor of Wreaths Across America and again supporting the American Legion Post #5 (Tampa) Veterans Cemetery on Kennedy Blvd. The ceremony and wreath laying is on Saturday December 17.   Everyone is encouraged to attend and participate in the Ceremony.  The Ceremony usually starts at 12:00.  Arrive early if you want a seat or bring your own.  Your Tampa Chapter Color Guard will again present the colors for this Ceremony.  The American Legion Post and Veterans Cemetery is located at 3810 West Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa. 


Dues are Due - Unless you are a Junior Member (18 or less on Jan 1, 2017) a Life Member, a dual member or active military, your dues are $80 for 2017. This includes Chapter, State and National Dues. There are no Dues for Junior Members of the Tampa Chapter.


Chapter Website— Remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website. www.tampasar.org


Chapter Chaplain - One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick and sympathy notes to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone for whom a card should be sent, please mention it to Chaplain Sessums or President Klug at our next meeting.


Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send to the editor any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter.


Florida Society website - www.flssar.org

National Society website - www.sar.org