PATRIOTIC SOCIETIES, organizations formed in many countries, for the purpose of commemorating historical events of the past, preserving the records and sites of such events, and, in general, fostering a spirit of patriotism and love of country. Such societies are especially numerous and influential in the United States. The oldest, the Society of the Cincinnati (q.v.), dates back to the Revolutionary War, but others of importance were not founded until the last quarter of the 19th century. The chief societies in the United States, with the dates of their organi zation, are the Society of Mayflower Descendants (1897), Colonial Dames of America (189o), Society of Colonial Wars (1893), Sons of the Revolution (1876), Daughters of the Revolu tion (1891), Sons of the American Revolution (1889), Daughters of the American Revolution (189o) and the Sons of Veterans (1879). The Daughters of the Confederacy (1894) and the Sons
of Confederate Veterans (1896) commemorate the spirit and sac rifices of the Confederate cause in the Civil War. Eligibility for membership in all the above is based upon the historical services of an ancestor. The Grand Army of the Republic, formed by the Union soldiers after the American Civil War, long possessed a political as well as social importance. A similar organization of the World War veterans of the United States is the American Legion (q.v.). There are also many local societies formed usually for the preservation of historical sites and one national body of importance known as the American Scenic and Historic Preserva tion Society.
See S. A. Phillips, The Patriotic Societies of the United States (1914) .