The U.S. Marine Corps begins affairs for its “birthday party” every summer. Activities become added feverish as the abatement hues arrive. By aboriginal November, every Marine is either call his role in the “party” or pressing, polishing, and spit-shining in adjustment to arise at his or her best for the Altogether Ball. This has not consistently been the case, however. In fact, Marines accept not consistently acclaimed their founding on November the 10th.
Formal commemoration of the altogether of the Marine Corps began on 10 November 1921. That accurate date was called because on that day the Second Continental Congress resolved in 1775 to accession two battalions of Continental Marines.
Until 1921 the altogether of the Corps had been acclaimed on addition date. An anonymous bi-weekly abridgement from 1918 refers to the commemoration of the 120th altogether of the Marine Corps on 11 July “as accepted with no fuss.” It is ambiguous that there was any absolute commemoration at all. Added analysis of abstracts and publications above-mentioned to 1921 shows no affirmation of ceremonies, pageants, or parties. The July date was actual amid 1798 and 1921 as the altogether of the Corps. During the Revolution, Marines had fought on acreage and sea, but at the aing of the Revolution the Marine Corps and the Navy were all but disbanded. On 11 July 1798, President John Adams accustomed a bill that recreated the Corps, thereby accouterment the account for this day actuality actual as the altogether of the U.S. Marine Corps.
On 21 October 1921, Maj Edwin McClellan, Officer-in-Charge, Historical Section, Headquarters Marine Corps, beatific a announcement to Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune, suggesting that the aboriginal altogether on 10 November 1775 be declared a Marine Corps commemoration to be acclaimed throughout the Corps. Maj McClellan added appropriate that a feast be captivated in Washington D.C., to admire the event. Guests would accommodate arresting men from the Marine Corps, Army, and Navy, and birth of the Revolution.
Accordingly, on 1 November 1921, MajGen Lejeune issued Marine Corps Adjustment No. 47, Series 1921. The adjustment abbreviated the history, mission, and attitude of the Corps, and directed that it be apprehend to every command on 10 November commemoration consecutive year in account of the altogether of the Marine Corps. This adjustment has been appropriately agitated out.
Some commands advertisement the commemoration during the aing few years. In 1923 at Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania, the commemoration of the Marine Corps’ 148th altogether took the anatomy of a brawl in the billet that evening. Marines at the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, staged a adulterated action on the array arena in commemoration of the birthday. The action lasted about twenty minutes, and was witnessed by Portsmouth and Norfolk citizens. At Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the altogether was acclaimed on the 12th, back a appropriate alternative to Santiago had been abiding on the 10th. The morning activities included acreage and baptize sports, and a acid match. In the afternoon the Marines won a baseball game, 9-8, over a Cuban team. In the evening, associates of the command put on a array appearance followed by four battle bouts.
The aboriginal alleged “Birthday Ball,” such as appropriate by Maj McClellan, was apparently captivated in 1925 in Philadelphia. No annal accept been amid of one above-mentioned to 1925. Guests included the Secretaries of War and Navy, Major General Commandant Lejeune, acclaimed statesmen, soldiers, and sailors. The assumption accident was the actualization of a book on the armpit of Tun Tavern. The book was a allowance from the Thomas Roberts Reath Post, American Legion, whose associates was composed alone of Marines. The commemoration was captivated in affiliation with the commemoration assemblage of the Marine Corps League. A array included Marines, Regular Army, and Navy detachments, National Guard, and added aggressive organizations. The black feast was captivated at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel and a brawl followed at the Bellevue-Stratford.
It is not accessible to actuate absolutely back the aboriginal block commemoration was held, but there is affirmation of a commemoration actuality captivated at Quantico, Virginia, in 1935.
Also on almanac was one captivated at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., in 1937 area Major General Commandant Thomas Holcomb presided at an accessible abode for Marine Corps officers. Ceremonies included the acid of a huge block advised afterwards the acclaimed Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.
From 1937, observances of the Marine Corps Altogether appeared to advance spontaneously throughout the Corps as if they had a activity of their own. The celebrations were publicized through every media. Newsreels, motion pictures, and displays were able to abridge the history of the Corps. In 1943, accepted bare Marine Corps atom books were forwarded to all districts to be abounding with 168th commemoration clippings, scripts, pictures, programs, and added memorabilia, and alternate to Headquarters. Unfortunately none of these scrapbooks abide in official files.
In 1951, a academic Altogether Brawl Anniversary was captivated at Headquarters Marine Corps. Similar to the anniversary today, the calligraphy declared the Marines’ aeon uniforms and the block ceremony. Although this is the aboriginal absolute almanac of a pageant, Leatherneckmagazine of 10 November 1925 pictures Marines at a anniversary in Salt Lake City, Utah, which had taken abode “several years ago.”
On 28 October 1952, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., directed that the commemoration of the Marine Corps Altogether be formalized throughout the Corps, and provided an outline for the block ceremony, as able-bodied as added academic observances. This outline was included in the Marine Corps Drill Manual, accustomed 26 January 1956.
Traditionally, the aboriginal allotment of Altogether block is presented to the oldest Marine present and the additional allotment to the youngest Marine present. Back and area this attitude began charcoal unknown. Some annal announce this practice, and others alter it depending on the dignitaries present at the ball. Aboriginal pieces of block accept been presented to newlyweds, the Secretary of the Navy, governors, and others, but about speaking, the aboriginal pieces of block go to the oldest and youngest Marines at the ball.
At present, celebrations of the Marine Corps Altogether on 10 November alter at posts and stations throughout the Corps. All commemorations accommodate the account of Marine Corps Adjustment No. 47, and the Commandant’s bulletin to those assembled. Most commands sponsor a Altogether Brawl of some sort, complete with anniversary and block commemoration as assigned in the Marine Corps Manual.
Like the Corps itself, the Altogether Brawl developed from simple origins to become the polished, able action that all Marines admire on 10 November about the world.
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