(CNSNews.com) - Jenny Beth Martin recalls the day, almost five years ago, when a few dozen conservatives held a conference call to plan protests against the Obama administration's big government agenda. On Feb. 27, 2009, 48 protests took place around the country, and the Tea Party was born.
“We changed a moment into a movement,” Martin, co-founder and president of the Tea Party Patriots, told CNSNews.com.
Now, five years later, an anniversary event is planned for Thursday at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C.
Talk show host and author Mark Levin will be the keynote speaker, and Sean Hannity will speak at a sold-out dinner.
Other scheduled speakers include Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.); and Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (Texas).
Martin said the Tea Party movement has grown because so many Americans are passionate about its central theme of liberty and small government.
“Economic freedom and a debt-free future for our children and grandchildren” are cornerstones of the movement," she said. “We are a group of people who want to make sure we have enduring freedom in our country.”
The Tea Party Patriots website describes the movement this way:
"From the bailouts and stimulus of 2008 to the government takeover of health care, a spark was ignited that grew into a vibrant movement of liberty-loving Americans determined to protect their freedoms from an ever growing federal government. Since early 2009, the modern Tea Party movement has been on a path to educate Americans about the importance of having a constitutionally limited, fiscally responsible government that preserves an environment for free markets to thrive."