Allen Laws Oliver and The S. A. R.

Mar 20, 2018

It seems like Almost Yesterday that Allen Laws Oliver of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, became the national president of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Born in 1886 when his parents, R. B. and Marie Oliver, lived in Jackson, Missouri, young Allen Oliver was educated in the local schools, at Southeast Missouri Normal School, and then, in the family tradition, received a law degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. 

In 1909 Allen Oliver joined his father's law firm in Cape Girardeau where he followed R. B. Oliver's practice of dedicated community service, working vigorously to promote a variety of causes: the Boy Scouts, his church, his Rotary Club, and various efforts to help underprivileged children, all central to his personal values and way of life.

One of his favorite and most enduring causes was the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, his efforts leading to his election in 1946 as national president of the organization.

On September 17, 1946, from the steps of the Sub-Treasury Building in New York City, the site of the first Federal Hall, where George Washington delivered his famous farewell address, Allen Oliver delivered a Constitution Day address to a national radio audience, and a crowd of thousands, including Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Thomas Dewey, Charles Evans Hughes, and Lowell Thomas.

Because of World War II there had been no "Constitution Day" address in 1945, thus the 1946 speech received special emphasis, and extensive distribution.

It is appropriate that the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution is named, "The Allen Laws Oliver Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution."

It seems like Almost Yesterday.

This is Frank Nickell.