There's been much talk from many people about this being the "5th Year Anniversary" of the modern tea party. Sure, the tea party that remains might be a reflection of those who hijacked its early ideals and momentum, but the people that lead the tea party today surely aren't the Founders, in person or in principles.
Within this modern day of media spin and political posturing, fortunately there is evidence of where it really began (see video below). The following is an excerpt from a piece I wrote in 2009, when the commandeers of the original modern tea party claim it began :
In 2007, the modern tea party movement took shape, in a vastly different form than it now presents itself. Spurred by an impending recession, a government overrun by deception and corruption, and an unprecedented expansion of government under eight years of “conservative” leadership, the first modern day tea partiers had positive causes of action: honesty, respect for the rule of law, and protection of the rights of the smallest minority; the individual... [But in] short time, desperate partisans were soiling the sheets... As the battle rages, I have more faith than ever that an independent revolution will come. When the absurdity of our political process rises to the point where tea bags become a right wing rally cry and the left still manages to drop in the polls, there is a growing opportunity for the increasingly disenchanted to drive a stake right down the middle.