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National Guard celebrating 377th birthday

LATHAM, N.Y. — The National Guard is celebrating its 377th birthday.

Major General Patrick Murphy, Adjutant General of New York, will be joined Friday by some of the state's newest guard members for a traditional military cake-cutting ceremony at Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters.

The National Guard traces its birthday to 1636 when the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a law establishing formal militia companies in the colony. The units were composed of adult males older than 16 and were expected to meet and train regularly in military skills.

In New York, the first citizen-soldiers were members of the Burgher Guard, organized by the Dutch East India Company in 1640 to help protect New Amsterdam from their English neighbors in Massachusetts and Virginia and from hostile natives.

Meanwhile, N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan was to make a proclamation in the State House in Concord, in celebration of the National Guard's birthday.

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