ROA Minuteman Memorial Building on this day in history


ROA's Minuteman Memorial Building stands atop Capitol Hill since 1968.

ROA’s Minuteman Memorial Building atop Capitol Hill since 1968, in support of America’s Reserve and National Guard.

Washington’s ‘second’ birthday also anniversary of ROA headquarters dedication

With the U.S. Capitol literally across the street, ROA’s new headquarters was entirely financed by member donations and to this day is wholly owned by ROA”

— Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, February 22, 2023 / — On this day in history in 1732, February 22, George Washington had his second birthday. No, not his birthday as a two-year-old, but his second day of birth. According to the U.S. Archives, Washington was born in Virginia on February 11, 1731, of the Julian calendar then in use. “In 1752, however, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which moved Washington’s birthday a year and 11 days” – to February 22, 1732.

Two centuries after Washington, birth year, the Purple Heart medal, which he had established to recognize bravery in war among soldiers of the Revolution, but had fallen from use, was reauthorized by Congress as a military award for those wounded or killed in action against an enemy.

Between these two events, on February 22-23, 1847, U.S. troops led by future president Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated those commanded by Gen. López de Santa Anna (of Alamo and San Jacinto fame) at the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican-American War.

On this date in history in 1950, basketball great Julius Erving was born; nine years later on February 22, Lee Petty won the first NASCAR Daytona 500 stock car race (his son Richard would win in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979 and 1981).

In 1980 on this day, the U.S. amateur hockey team beat their Soviet rivals in the “Miracle on Ice,” in Lake Placid, New York. “The so-called Miracle on Ice was more than just an Olympic upset,” according to “. . . to many Americans, it was an ideological victory in the Cold War as meaningful as the Berlin Airlift or the Apollo moon landing.

In 1997 on February 22, in Scotland, Dolly the cloned sheep, was born, the first cloned mammal in history. (Perhaps inspired by the 1993 film “Jurassic Park?”)

“And it is on this momentously historic day in 1968 that the Reserve Organization of America, then known as the Reserve Officers Association, dedicated its Minuteman Memorial Building at 1 Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, DC,” said ROA’s executive director, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips. “With the U.S. Capitol literally across the street, ROA’s new headquarters was entirely financed by member donations and to this day is wholly owned by ROA.”

With its neo-classical atrium first floor, “symposium center” conference room, and fifth-floor ballroom overlooking the Capitol, the Minuteman Memorial Building is home to Top of the Hill Banquet and Conference Center, for memorable events and unparalleled access to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate, and of course the Capitol itself.

Congressionally chartered, ROA is the only national military service organization that solely and exclusively supports the Reserves and National Guard. ROA was founded by WWI veterans a century ago. Among ROA legislative and military policy initiatives is full healthcare to help ensure the readiness of Reserve and National Guard troops who must be ready to defend the nation at a moment’s notice – more than a million have been activated since 9/11 and some 1,200 gave their lives during the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips
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