SALEM, Mass.—The governor of Massachusetts has signed a law designating one of his cities the birthplace of the oldest component of the United States armed forces.
Gov. Deval (deh-VAL') Patrick on Thursday officially marked the birthplace of the National Guard as Salem (SAY'-luhm), a seaport city northeast of Boston noted for its witch trials in 1692. The designation adds value to Salem as a historical attraction.
The bill-signing ceremony at City Hall was witnessed by soldiers and Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, the adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard.
The beginnings of the National Guard are traced back to the first muster of the East Militia on the Salem Green in April 1636. Four of the oldest units in the U.S. Army serve in the Massachusetts National Guard.