A Community Cornerstone Turns 375

Three hundred and seventy-five years ago on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1636, the National Guard was born in Salem, Mass. On that fateful day, the Massachusetts General Court in Salem directed that all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the militia, becoming citizen-soldiers who would train together in order to defend the Massachusetts Bay Colony, if called upon. The colonists established the North, South, and East Regiments with this order, marking the first time a militia was raised on the North American continent. Those units have continuous and unbroken ties to today’s National Guard, making Salem the Guard’s birthplace, according to Guard officials. (NGB report by Bill Boehm)