SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A new federal law recognizes the city of Salem, Mass., as the birthplace of the U.S. National Guard.
The White House says President Barack Obama signed the measure Thursday.
The measure says the first militia in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Salem was organized in 1629.
Colonists had adopted the English militia system, which required males between 16 and 60 to participate in the community’s defense.
The measure says the regiment that was the predecessor to the 101st Engineer Battalion first assembled in 1637 on Salem Common.
That marked the beginning of the Massachusetts National Guard and the U.S. National Guard.
In 2010, Gov. Deval Patrick signed a law designating Salem as the National Guard birthplace. The National Guard says the first muster of the East Regiment took place in Salem, although the exact date is unknown.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.