Dampness of liberty

The Downrange Anti-missile Measurement Program or DAMP was an applied research project to obtain scientific data, just prior to and during re-entry, on intermediate- and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles as they returned to earth. The program was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) under the technical direction of the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) during the period 1 January 1959 through 30 September 1963.

Project organization

The downrange facility was a Liberty-class merchant vessel renovated and converted for its technical assignment. Its measurement equipment complex included C-band, L-band and UHF radars; digital and analog recorders; gyroscope stabilization; timing generators; mode switching; telemetry acquisition apparatus; radiometers and riometers; boresight cine-TV and other photographic systems; communications and Transit Satellite navigation system.

As a complementary measurement facility to the DAMP ship, the Electromagnetic Research Laboratory at Moorestown, New Jersey, contained C- and L-band radar measurement equipment complete with digital and analog recording system in a range-support-tower combination for full-scale cross-section measurements under static conditions with orthogonal polarizations. Recorded analog data from this facility were provided for immediate use.

Data from both measurement facilities underwent necessary processing at the Riverton, New Jersey, data reduction center, a part of the Data Analysis Laboratory.

Foremost among DAMP Program objectives were to:

  • Support AMM system designs.
  • Support penetration aids program.
  • Support AICBM weapon-system evaluation
  • Provide scientific information on space environments and hypersonic flight
  • Advance the general fund of knowledge on re-entry physics and dynamics and the plasma phenomena association with re-entry.
  • Develop new data acquisition and processing techniques for expanded data quality.

USAS American Mariner

The DAMP Project ship, the USAS American Mariner at anchor Clarence Bay, Ascension Island, 1962

The DAMP ship, the USAS American Mariner, was essentially a floating measurements laboratory that employed various types of sensors, recording apparatus, and technical support equipment. It operated under conventional maritime regulations in the impact area of ballistic missile test firings, primarily in the Caribbean area and in the South Atlantic Ocean, near Ascension Island. During 1962, however, it operated in the Pacific Ocean in order to perform tracking duties during Operation Dominic atomic testing.

The shipboard crew, provided by Mathiasen Tankers Corp., was complemented by approximately sixty technical personnel provided by RCA and Barnes Engineering Corporation, who operated and maintained the radar and support equipment. Each mission required a minimum of 36 hours of on-station preparation and pre- and post-flight calibration. Targets were those of opportunity fired on missile ranges as part of the overall ballistic missile test program, which at the time was in its infancy.

The DAMP ship participated in numerous missile test operations on the Atlantic Missile Range, as well as on the Pacific Missile Range during 1962 in support of the Operation Dominic atomic tests with emphasis on radio frequency and radar electromagnetic effects. In addition, the DAMP ship served in support of the Ranger Program on the Atlantic Missile Range for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Activities included vehicle tracking during and subsequent to final burnout to supply designation data for the Deep Space Instrumentation Facility.

During its operation in the Atlantic Missile Range, the DAMP ship stopped at various ports for logistical support and requirements. Such ports included Recife, Brazil; Antigua, West Indies; Cape Town, and Monrovia and Senegal in Africa. While on the Pacific Missile Range, the DAMP ship was based out of Honolulu, Hawaii, and operated in the Johnston Island area.

Electromagnetic Research Laboratory

The Electromagnetic Research Laboratory (ERL) was located near the Missile and Surface Radar Division plant of RCA in Moorestown, New Jersey. The C-band, low-power, cross-section-measurement system in conjunction with two static range configurations was used for full-scale targets weighing up to 4,000 pounds rotated through 360 degrees. Since measurements must be made on targets as if they were located in free space, returns from other than the target were reduced to 10−5 m², the general background level of one tower-terrain combination. The low-power radar was capable of transmitting any linear, circular, or elliptical polarization at C-band frequencies. It could receive the horizontal and vertical components of backscattered energy simultaneously. Cross-section data was recorded in analog form on Sanborn and Scientific Atlanta strip-chart recorders and on Ampex magnetic tape. Digital cross sections were also recorded on a specially-designed CEC magnetic tape recorder.

Other important functions of the ERL were the training of technical personnel, development and checkout of new equipment and techniques, and satellite tracking using a modified FPQ-4 radar. L-band measurement capability, similar to the C-band equipment, was introduced in late 1963.

Data Analysis Laboratory

The Data Analysis Laboratory (DAL) was, in general, devoted to preparation of DAMP data for dissemination to the many users. These data are submitted to many forms that require numerous reduction processes. Thus, the DAL was divided into three basic operational areas, namely: (1) the Data Reduction Center in Riverton, New Jersey, (2) the Data Interpretation Group in Moorestown, New Jersey, and (3) the Plasma Analysis Group in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Raw data from the DAMP ship’s sensors was delivered to the data reduction center for reduction, smoothing, and conversion to forms appropriate to interpretation. Equipment used in this data processing cycle included a digital tape translator, an IBM 709 computer, an analog computer, various tape and card converters and card punches, analog and digital playback equipment, data plotters, chart and film readers, oscilloscope cameras and oscilloscopes, a photo darkroom, and miscellaneous support equipment.

The processed data would be disseminated directly or would be submitted to the Data Interpretation Group for study, interpretation, correlation, and comparison with theory. The data interpretation group was concerned with annotating basic data with interpretative comments to aid the ultimate data user. Objectives were to investigate every avenue for enhanced data output and maximum data accuracy and usefulness. Theoretical studies and experiments were made to augment the data comparisons and evaluations; such studies embraced the computational areas of numerical, mathematical, and statistical analysis, analog and digital simulation, and computer programming as well as the many physical sciences associated with missile flight and atmospheric re-entry.

One of the most important facets of re-entry physics is the interaction of plasmas and ionized wakes with electromagnetic waves. Work was being conducted in both the theoretical and practical nature of plasma physics as related to radar and associated phenomena; the following subcontract organization and consultants were active in support of phases of this research:

  1. RCA Victor, Ltd. Research Laboratories, Montreal, Canada.
  2. Keller and Lewis, New York University under the technical cognizance of Plasma and Space Applied Physics, RCA, Princeton, New Jersey.
  3. General Applied Science Laboratories, Inc., Westbury, New York.

To evaluate the effects of plasma and wake on EM propagation, flow field studies were performed to generate plasma density contours. These theoretical results were used for comparison with measured data for analysis. Laboratory experiments and simulation studies were conducted to investigate complex phenomena such as turbulence in the plasma flow field.

DAMP ship characteristics

The DAMP ship, the USAS (United States Army Ship) American Mariner was the primary data collection facility of the DAMP Project. Pertinent ship’s characteristics include:

  • Overall length – 441 feet (134 m).
  • Beam – 56 feet (17 m).
  • Displacement (full load) – 10,650 tons.
  • Speed – 8-10 knots.
  • Fuel oil capacity – 9,507 barrels.
  • Fresh water capacity – Tanks – 296,556 gallons – Evaporators – 19,750 gallons/day.
  • Accommodations – Technical personnel – up to 91.
  • Accommodations – Crew – Officers – 12 – Other – 55.
  • Normal endurance (port-to-port) – 45 days.

DAMP ship instrumentation

The DAMP ship was instrumented with various systems designed to locate and track incoming ballistic missiles in the predicted impact area, as well as instrumentation to record raw data.


One of the two AN/FPQ-4 radars aboard the DAMP ship permitted the tracking of beacon-carrying targets to an unambiguous range of 1,000 nautical miles (2,000 km). The L-band and UHF radars, which shared a common antenna, permitted observation of the target by illumination to supplement the C-band. The AN/FPS-12 radar permitted surveillance of the general vicinity of the DAMP ship as well as vectoring of aircraft which may be assigned to the ship.

The telemetry acquisition system was a passive acquisition aid operated on the interfereometer principle which gives angular position of the target relative to the ship. It was not a direct source of range information. Telemetry data was recorded on Magnetic tape at 7.5, 15, 30 and 60 ips from Nems Clark 1432 receiver.

The acquisition director, which comprised the RADAP-C Computer together with associated input and output devices, served as an acquisition aid, as means for checkout and calibration of associated electronic equipment, and, in the TRANSIT mode, as an aid to the navigation of the DAMP ship.


The Transit system of navigation consisted of the Transit satellite, a worldwide network of tracking stations to observe and determine the orbital elements of the satellite, and suitable receivers and computers aboard the navigating vessel to receive the stable frequency radio signals broadcast by the satellite, to observe the Doppler frequency shift, and from this information, plus the approximate location of the vessel, compute to within one mile (1.6 km) the exact location of the vessel.

The quartz Reference Oscillator was the heart of the shipboard system, and operated at 1 MHz and 100 KC with a short term stability of 5 parts in 10 to the tenth averaged over a one second interval, and a long term stability of 5 parts in 10 to the tenth per day.

Data recording

The Video Integrator accepted the radar video signal returns from a pulsed, range-gated radar system (AN/FPQ-4) and improved the signal-to-noise ratio of the radar video, thereby extending the acquisition range of the radar system. The video is continuously integrated and the output is in realtime.

In order to utilize fully the data gathering capabilities of the DAMP ship, it was necessary that the data gathered be stored in a form which permitted easy retrieval at the data analysis facility. Therefore, all data obtained at the DAMP ship was stored only on certified and designated CEC digital recorders, Ampex recorders, a Sanborn recorder, an RCA video recorder and a Mincom recorder. Timing was provided by two Hermes Hycon Eastern timing generators, one primary and one back-up. Timing signal outputs were 24-bit pulse absence code, 17-bit pulse absence code, and 13-bit pulse width code. Both generators were synchronized with Bureau of Standards, WWV, time standard.

Raw test data recorded included time, sync and control, tracker 1 and 2 radar data, L-band and UHF radar data, gyro and server data, telemetry, voice, video and any other data designated by the test director.

One of the two Mk 51 Mod 3 gun directors, suitably modified and fitted with M-7 elbow telescopes (8-power, 6” field) was employed to furnish designation information to the AN/FPQ-4 tracking radars in “optical” mode. These directors had an azimuth travel of plus/minus 370 degrees and elevated from -20 degrees to +90 degrees. Azimuth and elevation data output was furnished at 1- and 36-speed from two (size 23) 400-cycle synchros. Maximum position error was 0.5 mil.

Communications equipment

Communications aboard the DAMP ship served several purposes: to communicate with administrative offices in New Jersey, to receive, immediately after launch, predicted impact data from the launch agency firing the ballistic or intercontinental missile, and, after completion of impact tracking, to report “quicklook” data back to the ERL in New Jersey so that it could be evaluated and a summary report be forwarded on to the project sponsor, ARPA.

During this period of operation, communications via satellite did not yet exist. As a result, communications between the DAMP ship and New Jersey was through the use of single-sideband (SSB) radio, generally through the use of a 10 kW transmitter. The DAMP ship generally transmitted upper sideband (USB) voice and/or lower sideband (LSB) frequency-shift keying radioteletype in the area of 16 and 22 MHz when atmospheric conditions were favorable. When communications became difficult because of atmospheric conditions, the DAMP ship shifted to carrier wave (CW) transmission using standard Morse Code. In addition, because the ship could be out to sea for extended periods, such as a month or so, the DAMP ship carried an amateur radio room and equipment, which technical personnel could use to communicate with their families back home in the States via short wave radio.

For local area communicating – for example when in the Ascension Island area in the Atlantic or the Johnston Island area in the Pacific) the DAMP vessel had the capability of transmitting and receiving USB voice and LSB radioteletype to/from such island locations. The DAMP ship could also communicate with aircraft and nearby islands using various VHF or UHF radio configurations.

Various antenna were employed to obtain maximum range from ship-to-shore. The UHF transceiver used a discone, while the VHF transceivers used ground plane antennas. The 1 kW HF transmitter used a remotely tuned 35-foot (11 m) whip antenna, while the 3 kW HF transmitter used a vertical cage antenna., and the 10 kW transmitter employed a discone antenna. The vessel contained numerous state-of-the-art receivers, which were fed from an antenna distribution system from three 18-foot (5 m) whips.

The DAMP ship also carried advanced cryptographic equipment which could be used to encode or decode messages of a confidential or secret nature. Details of such equipment is classified and not described here.

As required by law, the ship’s Merchant Marine Master had a radio room and a radio operator who was responsible for ship’s business but was not associated in any way with the operation of the radio system used for technical purposes.

Tracking Pedestals

Four modified TALOS AN/FPW-2 Guidance Pedestals were slaved to either or both of the AN/FPQ-4 tracking radars in order to provide optical, infra-red and other supplementary instrumentation for the observation of re-entry bodies.

Mission Completion

On September 30, 1963 the U.S. Army Advanced Research Projects Agency DAMP mission and contract expired, and the U.S. Air Force assumed operational control of the USAS American Mariner. On January 1, 1964, it became an integral, but temporary, part of the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Test Range in the Atlantic Ocean, and was placed under the control of the Missile Test Project (MTP) based out of Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (See Eastern Test Range for details.) Eventually, the ship was removed from missile tracking service and sunk in the Chesapeake Bay while being used as a target by U.S. Navy pilots from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

Further reading

Hahn, Herbert Paul, American Mariner a documentary biography of her role as: Liberty Ship, Training Ship, Missile Instrumentation Ship, Mystery Ship, Test Target. Published 1990 by American Merchant Marine Museum Foundation, Kings Point, New York. ISBN 1-879180-00-6.

See also

  • Radar
  • Missile
  • Cold war
  • Army Ballistic Missile Agency
  • Missile and Space Intelligence Center
  • Eastern Test Range
  • Missile Test Project
  • USAS American Mariner
  • List of ships of the United States Air Force

External links

  • SS American Mariner
  • Atlantic Missile Range
  • Pacific Missile Range
  • Nuclear Testing
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • American Mariner


Chain of the Order of Liberty

The Order of Liberty, or the Order of Freedom (Portuguese: Ordem da Liberdade), is a Portuguese honorific civil order that distinguishes relevant services to the cause of democracy and freedom, in the defense of the values of civilization and human dignity. The order was created in 1976, after the Carnation Revolution of 1974 in which the corporatist authoritarian Estado Novo regime of António de Oliveira Salazar and Marcello Caetano was deposed. The Grand Collar can also be given by the President of Portugal to former Heads of State and others whose deeds are of an extraordinary nature and particular relevance to Portugal, making them worthy of such a distinction. This can include political acts, physical acts of defense for Portugal, or the good representation of Portugal in other countries.


The order includes five classes; in decreasing order of seniority, these are:

Like the other Portuguese orders, the title of Honorary Member (Membro Honorário—MHL) can be awarded to institutions and locals.

List of the Grand Cross with Collar of Liberty

  • Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (2017-05-23).
  • François Mitterrand, former president of the French Republic (1987-10-28).
  • Juan Carlos I, king of Spain (1988-10-13).
  • Václav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic (1991-02-20).
  • António Mascarenhas Monteiro, former president of the Republic of Cape Verde (1992-04-15).
  • Miguel Trovoada, former president of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (1992-12-23).
  • Patricio Aylwin, former president of the Republic of Chile (1993-04-27).
  • Lech Wałęsa, former president of the Republic of Poland (1993-08-18).
  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of the Republic of Brazil (1996-03-08).
  • Mário Soares, former prime minister and president of the Portuguese Republic (1996-08-29).
  • Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of the Republic of Brazil (2003-10-17).
  • Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations (2005-10-11).
  • António Guterres, current secretary-general of the United Nations (2016-02-02).

Knight of the Order of Liberty

  • Bruno Neto, Humanist, Philanthropist (2015) Presidency Website

See also

  • Honorific orders of Portugal


External links

  • List of the Grand Collar of Freedom

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U.S. #1035
3¢ Statue of Liberty
Liberty Series

Issue Date: June 17, 1959
City: Albany, NY
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
11 x 10½
Color: Deep violet

U.S. #1035 pictures the Statue of Liberty with the words, “In God We Trust.”

Liberty Enlightening the World

The Statue of Liberty is a magnificent copper sculpture given to the United States by France in 1884. On October 28, 1886, the statue was dedicated. Its complete name is Liberty Enlightening the World. This majestic symbol of the United States, representing freedom for immigrants coming to America as well as the bond of freedom shared between the United States and France, stands above Liberty Island at the entrance to New York Harbor in Upper New York Bay.

The people of France donated the money to build the statue, and the people of America raised the funds to build its base. The French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi designed the statue and chose its location. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer who later built the Eiffel Tower in Paris, designed the statue’s framework. The statue stands 301 feet and 1 inch high from foundation to torch.

In the early 1980s, a program was started to make major repairs and improvements to the statue. This effort concluded in 1986 – the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty’s dedication in the U.S. A popular tourist attraction, the statue attracts about 2 million visitors each year.

The Liberty Series

Issued to replace the 1938 Presidential series, this patriotic set of stamps honors guardians of freedom throughout U.S. history. Eighteenth century America is represented by Revolutionary War heroes and statesmen such as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Henry, Jay, and Revere.

Leaders of the 19th century including Monroe, Lincoln, Lee, Harrison, and Susan B. Anthony make an appearance. The 20th century is represented by Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and General Pershing.

The Liberty Series also features famous locations important to America’s democratic history, such as Bunker Hill, Independence Hall, and the Alamo.

“Wet” versus “Dry” Printing

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began an experiment in 1954. In previous “wet” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 15 to 35 percent. In the experimental “dry” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 5 to 10 percent. This process required stiffer, thicker paper, special inks, and greater pressure to force the paper through the plates.

Stamps produced by dry printing can be distinguished by whiter paper and higher surface sheen. The stamps feel thicker and the designs are more pronounced than on wet printings. So the dry printing experiment was a success, and all U.S. postage stamps have been printed by this method since the late 1950s.

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Women Who Sacrificed Comfort for Independence

The Daughters of Liberty displayed their loyalty by supporting the nonimportation of British goods during the American Revolution. They refused to drink British tea and used their skills to weave yarn and wool into cloth, which made America less dependent on British textiles. The most zealous Daughters refused to receive gentleman callers who were not sympathetic to the patriot cause.

Image: Abigail Adams Monument
Boston Women’s Memorial

It is not in the still calm of life that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.
~ Abigail Adams

The Revolutionary War brought women into many new causes. Although women’s organizations had begun to appear in the late 1600s, it was not until the mid 1700s that these organizations involved politics. The Daughters of Liberty proved that women’s involvement in politics could be beneficial to the country. They were relevant in the shaping of our American history.

During wartime, women have historically been called upon to show their patriotism by scrimping and saving. In many cases, as in the Revolutionary War, food and resources were very scarce because the Colonies were still largely an agrarian economy, and most men who worked in the fields were away fighting.

The Daughters of Liberty consisted of women who displayed their patriotism by participating in boycotts of British goods following the passage of the Townshend Acts. Since women often purchased consumer goods for the home, they became instrumental in upholding the boycott, and ensured that women did not purchase British goods, particularly tea.

In support of the nonimportation movements of 1765 and 1769, the Daughters used their traditional skills to weave yarn and wool into homemade cloth they called homespun, which made America less dependent on British textiles. Mass spinning bees were organized in various colonial cities, and the Daughters advanced that cause most effectively.

In January 1770, 538 Boston women signed an agreement, vowing not to drink tea as long as it was taxed. Proving their commitment to “the cause of liberty and industry,” they openly opposed the Tea Act of 1773, and experimented to find substitutes for tea. Discoveries like boiled basil leaves to make a tea-like drink helped lift spirits.

In 1774, these women helped influence a decision made by Continental Congress to boycott all British goods, which was due in large part to the Daughters of Liberty, who were determined to reach demands for homemade clothing. Although it is not often recognized, the organizations formed by women were very also influential during the war.

Revolutionary Women
Women also played a large role during the war. Clothing and other materials were needed to clothe Patriot soldiers, so women got together to spin and sew uniforms. When militias appealed to the public for uniforms and food, homespun garments and farm crops came from patriotic women.

Women also stepped forth to fill holes left by fighting Continental soldiers, and performed tasks formerly reserved for their husbands, such as farming and running a business. Many men would have returned to bankruptcy after the war had it not been for the efforts of their spouses.

These newly independent women also had to stand up for themselves and their families when confronted by British soldiers. After the men went off to fight in the war, American women, children, and the elderly were frequently faced with the occupation of their homes, churches, and government buildings by British soldiers.

With all the war, violence, and fighting between the French, English, Americans and Native Americans in the past, colonial women had learned some sort of self-defense. They knew how to threaten force and even kill someone if necessary. Guns were owned by few, so women grew accustomed to using axes, knifes, gardening and household tools for protection.

Dr. James Thatcher’s military journal entry describing conditions on Long Island in 1780:

The country which we lately traversed, about fifty miles in extent, is called neutral ground, but the miserable inhabitants who remain are not much favored with the privileges which their neutrality ought to secure to them. They are continually exposed to the ravages and insults of infamous banditti, composed of royal refugees and Tories.

There are within the British lines lawless villains, who devote themselves to the most cruel pillage and robbery among the defenseless inhabitants between the lines, many of whom they carry off to New York, after plundering their houses and farms. These shameless marauders have received the names of Cow-boys and Skinners. By their atrocious deeds they have become a scourge and terror to the people.

Numerous instances have been related of these miscreants subjecting defenseless persons to cruel torture, to compel them to deliver up their money, or to disclose the places where it has been secreted. It is not uncommon for them to hang a man by his neck till apparently dead, then restore him, and repeat the experiment, and leave him for dead.

Patriotic Women
Sarah Bradlee Fulton has been called the Mother of the Boston Tea Party, because she helped a group of Boston citizens disguise themselves as Mohawk Indians before the Boston Tea Party. Her brother, Nathaniel Bradlee, was a patriot and many meetings were held in his home.

Phoebe Fraunces was George Washington’s black housemaid. Her lover, Thomas Hickey, was one of General Washington’s bodyguards. Hickey had been convinced to join the British side and was conspiring to kill Washington. Hickey asked Phoebe to poison Washington’s peas, and she agreed in order to learn Hickey’s plans. She informed Washington and in the presence of Hickey, he threw the poisoned peas out an open window into the yard. Chickens ate the peas and died immediately. Hickey was convicted of conspiring to kill the General and was hung.

Esther Reed was a London-born woman who worked to raise more than $300,000 in Philadelphia with three dozen women, who went door to door. Esther organized a women’s group, who used the money to sew linen shirts for the soldiers of the Continental Army. She was married to Joseph Reed, one of George Washington’s aides-de-camp, and later a delegate to the Continental Congress.

Young women also fought in the war, wrote pieces for the local newspapers about the war, held scrap drives, and even made cartridges. Sybil Ludington, the 16-year-old daughter of a patriot general, commanded a Patriot militia unit and rode over 40 miles in the dark of the night to wake the Minutemen.

Rebecca Flower Young supported her family by making flags at her shop in Philadelphia. One day, General Washington asked Rebecca to make a flag of his design for use by the troops. The flag he designed became known as the Grand Union Flag. It was a symbol of the determination of the United States to become independent of England.

After the war was over and the government began to write laws and the Constitution, women began to focus on changing the common law of male superiority. Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her husband, who was at the Continental Congress. The letter pleaded for him to Remember the Ladies when writing the new Constitution. He insured her that the ladies would be taken care of, but the common law would not be changed.

But enlightened thinkers knew that a republic could only succeed if its citizens were virtuous and educated. If the country were to survive, women must be schooled in virtue so they could teach it to their children. This idea of an educated woman became known as Republican Motherhood. The first American female academies were founded in the 1790s.

These patriotic women risked their lives and reputations to fight against tyranny; they should be remembered as heroes. They were willing to resort to extralegal means if necessary to end the series of injustices imposed upon the American colonies by England. They were American patriots, northern and southern, young and old. They were the Daughters of Liberty.


Colonial TimesE Pluribus UnumDaughters of LibertySons and Daughters of Liberty


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