Guest Speakers by Year:   2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017

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Tuesday January 12, 2021
Guest Speaker: Shep Hammack

Topic: Hyam Salomon - 'Financier of the American Revolution'
Our January speaker on Zoom was Charter Chapter President Shep Hammack, who gave a presentation on Hyam Salomon. Hyam was born on April 7th of 1740 and considered the 'Financier of the American Revolution'.

Salomon was a Portuguese Jew born in Poland and traveled throughout Europe as a young man, learning to speak multiple languages and learned the trade of finance. He emigrated to America in the early 1770s and started a financial brokerage in New York City. In the years leading up to the American Revolution, Salomon became a close friend of Alexander McDougall, one of the leading members of the Sons of Liberty in New York City, putting him squarely in the middle of the growing anti-British sentiment. Salomon acted as a translator for the hired Hessian troops working for the British, encouraging as many Hessians as he could to switch sides. In 1778, Salomon was arrested and sentenced to death, but this time he escaped, possibly with the help of McDougall and the Sons of Liberty. He made his way to Philadelphia and re-established himself in business, soon becoming the paymaster for French troops in America. Salomon became a business associate of Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and member of the Continental Congress.

In 1781, with Congress out of money and the Continental Army about to break apart for lack of funds, Morris was appointed Superintendent of Finances for Congress. His job was to raise money and oversee the expenditures. Morris turned to Haym Salomon who acted as an agent for Congress by selling bonds to buyers and quickly raised $20,000. This money was then used to fund the Yorktown campaign which ended the war. Salomon continued in this role for several years and raised over $600,000 for Congress, keeping the government afloat and earning Salomon the title "Financier of the Revolution." Ironically, Salomon died at the age of 45 in 1785, he left his family deeply in debt.

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Tuesday February 9, 2021
Guest Speaker: Georgia SAR Society President David Jessel

Topic: Disaster on the Mediterranean

President David Jessel gave a passionate talk about serving in the US Navy during the 70's. His experience on board the air craft carrier John F. Kennedy (CV-67) was moving as he depicted a terrible accident involving his original ship, the guided missile cruiser USS Belknap (CG-26) that hit the carrier and spilled aviation fuel onto both ships. Visibility resulting from fire went to zero. The accident occurred in the Mediterranean Sea on the night of November 22, 1975, during flight operations. The collision greatly damaged the Belknap and caused the 7 sailor deaths plus one sailor on the Kennedy. Nothing short of a miracle and the hard work of firefighting ship mates saved lives and possibly both ships.

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Tuesday March 9, 2021
Guest Speaker: Mark C. Anthony

Topic: "The Bloody Scout of Bill Cunningham"

Mark Anthony is a native of Spartanburg, SC having graduated from Spartanburg High School in 1985 and the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990. He found his way home to the Upstate of South Carolina from Rome, GA in 2005.

A member of the Sons of the American Revolution since 2002; Mark's interest in history was cultivated at a very early age. His mother was a history major at Converse College and taught history at Chapman High School in Inman, SC before her career was tragically ended by Mark's birth. As a form of revenge, she made him read her college and high school textbooks while he was in grade school.

Shortly after joining the SAR, Mark was responsible for locating and marking the grave of Patriot John Funderburk, the only known Revolutionary War veteran buried in Floyd County Georgia. The location of the grave had been a mystery for over 100 years. As a note, Patriot Funderburk fought with Francis Marion.

Mark has traced his ancestry identifying 28 ancestors who fought in the Revolution on the winning side and 2 that did not. Most notoriously, 2 of these ancestors faced each other at Kings Mountain in 1781 with one leaving the other to die on the field. There is no evidence that the one was actually responsible for the situation of the other.

Mark is a former Chapter President of the Rome (GA) Chapter, Georgia SAR Publicity Committee Chairman, South Carolina SAR State Secretary, Americanism Chairman and 2014 Congress Committee Chairman. On the National SAR level, Mark has held many national committee chairmanships including the Americanism, Color Guard and Historic Sites & Celebrations Committees. He also served as the South Atlantic Vice President General from 2014 to 2015 and as National Color Guard Commander from 2017 to 2019.

In 2015, Mark was awarded the Minuteman Medal, the highest award presented to an SAR compatriot for long and distinguished service on the National level.

Mark has had two articles published: The British Evacuation of Charles Town published in The SAR Magazine covering the events that led to the eventual British evacuation of Charles Town in 1782 and The Colors of the Second South Carolina Regiment detailing the history and symbology of that regiment's flag.

Professionally, Mark has worked in the banking field since 1996. He resides in Greer, SC with his wife Cindy and one stubborn child who refuses to "fly the nest."

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Tuesday April 13, 2021
Guest Speaker: Mary Williams

Topic: Roswell King

Mary Williams is a storyteller with her roots in public speaking. For the past 34 years, she has honed her speaking and leadership skills in Toastmasters, including 2 years on their International Board of Directors. When she discovered storytelling, she felt like she'd come home. She loves stories that teach while tickling your funny bone.

She is the Regent for the Martha Stewart Bulloch Chapter National Daughters of the American Revolution and the Georgia State Public Relations Chair.

After over 40 years in many different areas of technology from programming through social media, she is enjoying retirement.

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Tuesday May 11, 2021
Guest Speaker: PG Larry Guzy

Topic: Thomas Jefferson

"Compatriot Guzy was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Jesuit High School in 1966. He later graduated from Jesuit Marquette University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. Compatriot Guzy served three years in the U.S. Navy on the USS Independence aircraft carrier. In 1973, he and his wife, Karin, moved to Marietta, Georgia. He was self-employed in an insurance claims handling business for 40 years, retiring in 2013. In 1995, he joined the Georgia SAR and took his first steps into involvement at the National level in 1999. 'I was drawn to the SAR for the ability to preserve my link to the American Revolution and only later found the joy of friendship and the ability to reach out to others through recruiting and education.' "  - from the National SAR website.

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Martin Howley
Tuesday June 8, 2021
Guest Speaker: Martin Howley

Topic: Prelude to the Battle of Monmouth

Martin's BIO: Martin was born and raised outside Philadelphia, PA and spent his early adult life in Atlantic City, NJ. There he worked for 10 years as a Casino Croupier and instructor. He then enlisted in the US Army as an Infantryman at Fort Benning, GA. at the age of 31, which turned into a 26 year military career. He was selected for Officer Candidate school, and graduated as an Armored Cavary Officer. During his military career, Martin was selected to be a Foreign Area Officer, learning Arabic and becoming a regional expert in the Middle East and Africa.

During his military career, he lived in Korea, Germany, Egypt, with several tours of service in the Middle East and Africa. He finished his career as lead instructor of deploying military and civilians throughout the world.

Martin's life long love of US History was developed while growing up so close to Philadelphia and being surrounded by the roots of our nation. He first became involved with the Battle of Monmouth as a new Armored Cavary Lieutenant at Ft. Knox. He was assigned to develop a briefing for this key revolutionary war battlefield and its after effects.

Martin resides in Fayetteville, GA with his wife Crystal.

Battle of Cowpens | Prelude to the Battle of Monmouth
Martin Howley has now given our chapter two presentations, with a promise for a 3rd on the actual Battle of Monmouth.

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Larry W. Thomas
Tuesday September 14, 2021
Guest Speaker: Larry W. Thomas

Topic: Tips and Tricks at Family Search

Larry's BIO: After serving 8 years in the United States Army, Larry joined the Reserves while pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Maintenance Management and obtaining his FAA license as an airplane mechanic. Larry returned to the Army as a Transportation \ Logistics officer where he retired as a Captain after 23 years of total service. Larry received his MBA in Management Information Systems from Southern Polytechnic State University while working for the US Army Reserves as a Project Manager and earned his Certification as a Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute in 2013.

Larry began his Genealogy Research almost 30 years ago beginning with his own Thomas Family who have been Georgia residents since the 1750s, then branching out to the rest of his and his late wife's families and began researching for clients in 2008. He recently became semi-retired to pursue genealogy teaching and to conduct research for clients and his own family, operating www.AtlantaGenealogy. He is currently working on several projects including researching and writing on Cobb County's own Akers Mill as the brothers who ran the mill share a common ancestor with Larry's Mother.

A graduate of ProGen 38 and member of numerous Genealogical and Historical Societies, Serves on the Board of the Georgia Genealogical Society, and past president of the Cobb County Genealogy Society. He is becoming a popular genealogy presenter, bringing some fun to learning how to research.

Genealogy Research Sources: -
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Herb Smith
Tuesday October 12, 2021
Guest Speaker: Herb Smith

Topic: "The History of Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier."

Herb Smith is a native of Conyers, GA, a graduate of Rockdale High School and Georgia State University with a degree in marketing. He does many speaking engagements, mostly to patriotic organizations and schools. He married Pam Hood of Massachusetts, who worked for the Air Force at the Pentagon while he was assigned at Arlington's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

He completed his basic training at Ft. Benning in Georgia, then Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He then entered the 3rd Infantry Regiment with the Honor Guard Company, US Army Drill Team.

His time at Arlington Cemetery included three (3) months at the John F. Kennedy grave site while training for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then thirteen (13) months at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as a sentinel and relief commander. Herb is the recipient of Tomb Guard Badge 70, which is the second rarest of military metals.

He a life member of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (acronym SHGTUS). SHGTUS is a 501(C3) charitable organization made up of former Tomb Guards.

Grandparents Herb and Pam have one child, who is now a teacher at Peeks Chapel Elementary in Conyers. Daughter Kristin, has her own daughter Josie, who is a young adult and now a college student.

Herb and Pam are members of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Conyers. They have moved around the country in various sales management positions with Michelin North America until his retirement after 39 years of service in 2011.

We are honored to have Herb Smith as our October guest speaker.

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Thank you for your service!

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Gary Page

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Bedford Flag
Click for Larger Version

Tuesday November 19, 2021
Guest Speaker: Gary Page

Topic: "The Bedford Flag"

Gary Page is the Past President of the Robert Forsyth Chapter and currently serving as the chapter Vice President & Secretary. In addition to his chapter roles, Gary also serves as the State of Georgia SAR Americanism Committee Chair and works as the webmaster for the South Atlantic District and the 2022 National Congress Committee. He is also a member of the State Color Guard so you will likely see him at numerous events in Continental Uniform and musket.

Gary is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars & Bars, Sons of the Revolution and serves as State Adjutant for the Georgia Brigade of the Descendants of Valley Forge.

Gary thanks you for inviting him to your meeting to present the characteristics and events of the "The Bedford Flag"

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Leslie Watkins
Tuesday December 14, 2021
Guest Speaker: Leslie Watkins, GSSDAR

Topic: "SAR Women-More Than Just Camp Followers"

Leslie Strickland Watkins, a native Atlantan, is retired from teaching language arts, public speaking, debate, and independent study courses following a 32-year career in public education. As a debate and public speaking coach, Leslie was honored as a three-diamond coach of the National Forensic League, now known as National Speech and Debate Association, a national honor society of debate students and coaches, and is a member of the Georgia Debate Coaches Hall of Fame.

She is a member of the William Day Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution where she has served as chairman for numerous committees, as Vice Regent, Regent, Parliamentarian, and now serves as Honorary Regent and Corresponding Secretary. Leslie has been a co-presenter of the Sons of the American Revolution Traveling Trunk Program since 2010 with members of three SAR chapters and, to date, has co-delivered the program to well over 26,000 fourth grade students. She is committed to keeping American Revolution history alive by participating in Patriot grave markings, battle commemorations, and naturalized citizen ceremonies in Atlanta’s Federal Court and is honored to be the only woman trained to serve as a member of the Rabun Gap Artillery Field Command, working either as swabber or fuse igniter during cannon firings. Leslie is also a member of the National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots, National Society Sons and Daughters of Pilgrims, the First Georgia Company of Jamestowne Society, Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters, Daughters of American Colonists, and Colonial Dames XVII. She serves as a state officer in two of these groups.

She’s been honored by the VFW with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Citizenship Education Award, received accolades from various Sons of the American Revolution Chapters, as well as Georgia State Society Sons of the American Revolution, including a two time recipient of the GSSAR Nancy Hart Education Outreach Award, numerous medals and oak leaf clusters. She’s a past president of the Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution Ladies Auxiliary which she now serves as parliamentarian, and currently serves the Georgia State Society, NSDAR, as the Northeast District Director of Chapters.

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