November 8, 2018
The 243rd Marine Corps Birthday
On November 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress established the Continental Marines (precursor to the U.S. Marine Corps). And Tun Tavern in Philadelphia is regarded as the birthplace of the Corps because it was the location where the first Marines enlisted under Commandant Samuel Nicholas.
It may be a fun coincidence that a group founded in a tavern celebrates its birthday every year with a traditional ball. The first formal ball was held on November 10, 1925 in Philadelphia with many statesman and dignitaries in attendance. Prior to the Ball, Commandant Gen. John Lejeune unveiled a memorial plaque at Tun Tavern. Over the years the annual Birthday Ball has grown. In 1952, Commandant Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other observances. The third verse of the Marines' Hymn is often recited as a toast. Traditionally, the first slice of cake is handed to the oldest Marine present, who passes it to the youngest Marine present. The cake-cutting ceremony has been performed since 1956. That's a lot of candles!
While the Marine Corps Birthday Ball is a time of celebration, the day also is a commemoration for Marines to honor their brothers in arms, particularly their fellow Devil Dogs who gave their lives for our freedom.
Did You Know …
When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the Continental Navy and Marines were disestablished. The Marines Corps was re-established on July 11, 1798 by President John Adams. For some time, the official birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps was celebrated on July 11th.
Happy Birthday U.S. Marine Corps! Semper Fidelis!