Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 18, 2013

Mass. community named National Guard's birthplace

SALEM, Mass. — It’s official, one of New England’s most historic communities has been designated as the birthplace of the nation's National Guard.

Although widely accepted locally, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law last week designating Salem as the birthplace of the Guard.

According to history, the nation’s first militia, which was the foundation for what would become the National Guard, first gathered on Salem Common in 1637.

"It's not just that the National Guard originated here in Salem, it's the work they continue to do," said Congressman John Tierney.

The National Guard holds an annual muster on the Salem Common to celebrate its connection to the city. Last April, hundreds of troops gathered on the common for a celebration of the Guard’s 375th anniversary.

This year's muster is planned for April 6.

Salem is also famous for its role in the “Witchcraft Trials” of 1692.

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Details for this story were provided by The Salem, Mass., News.

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