U.S. Marine Band

  • Marine Band created

    In the nation's capital of Philadelphia, President John Adams signs an Act of Congress establishing the United States Marine Band. The original "32 drummers and fifers" assisted in recruiting and entertained residents.
  • First public concert

    The Marine Band presents its first public concert in Washington "on a hill overlooking the Potomac" near the future site of the Lincoln Memorial. Early settlers thronged to hear the "Marines’ brand of music."
  • White House debut

    The band makes its White House debut in the unfinished Executive Mansion at a New Year’s Day reception hosted by President and Mrs. John Adams.
  • First inaugural performance

    The Marine Band performs for Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural. Jefferson, an avid music lover and amateur violinist, gave the Marine Band the title "The President’s Own." Since that time, the band has played for every presidential inaugural.
  • First inaugural ball performance

    The Marine Band performs for James Madison’s presidential inaugural ball, the first inaugural ball held. The president, First Lady Dolley Madison, and their guests were serenaded by popular songs and dances of the period.
  • "Hail to the Chief" performed for the president

    The Marine Band first performs "Hail to the Chief" for a president when John Quincy Adams attends the groundbreaking of the C&O Canal. Newspapers reported, "airs from the Marine Band lightened the toil ..." The canal, which ran parallel to the Potomac River in Maryland from Cumberland, Md., to Washington, D.C., operated from 1831 until 1924.
  • Gettysburg National Cemetery dedication

    Gettysburg National Cemetery dedication
    The band accompanies President Abraham Lincoln to Gettysburg, Penn., for the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery and Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address. During the Civil War, the Marine Band lifted spirits with concerts in Lafayette Park, across from the White House. (Photo: Library of Congress)
  • Sousa appointed leader

    Sousa appointed leader
    John Philip Sousa, 25, is appointed the band's 17th leader -- a post he will hold for 12 years. Sousa's father, a trombonist in the Marine Band, enlisted his 13-year-old son in the Marine Corps to keep him from joining a circus band. Under Sousa's leadership, the band made its first concert tour, premiered many of Sousa’s most famous marches, and produced some of the first phonograph recordings ever made.
  • First radio program broadcast

    Music of "The President’s Own" reaches homes across the nation when the first Marine Band radio program is broadcast. Other broadcasts continued, including "The Dream Hour," which became the longest sustaining program on network radio.
  • Wartime concert

    The band performs a special wartime concert on the White House South Lawn for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Despite a steady rain, Roosevelt and Churchill stayed throughout and sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" with the band at the conclusion.
  • Kennedy funeral procession

    Kennedy funeral procession
    As the nation mourns and the world watches, the Marine Band, at the request of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, leads President John F. Kennedy's funeral procession. Watch the procession. (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum photo)
  • First female member

    French hornist Ruth Johnson become sthe band's first female member.
  • Statue of Liberty rededication

    Amid fireworks and celebration, the Marine Band performs in New York City for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, recreating the band’s performance under John Philip Sousa for the original dedication ceremonies 100 years earlier.
  • USSR tour

    Combining music of John Philip Sousa with images of Vladimir Lenin, the Marine Band tours five cities in the former Soviet Union, becoming the only American military band to tour the USSR before its transformation into independent states.
  • National Victory Parade televised

    "The President's Own" performs for approximately 200,000 live and television viewers June 8 at the National Victory Parade in Washington, D.C., and June 10 at the Operation Welcome Home Parade in New York. The celebrations honored the men and women who served in Operation Desert Storm.
  • Concert tour centennial

    The band marks the centennial of its annual concert tour, initiated by 17th Marine Band Director John Philip Sousa in 1891.
  • 50th inauguration performance

    Marine Band participates in its 50th presidential inauguration. "The President's Own" has participated in inaugural events for nearly 200 years.
  • Hall of Fame induction

    The Marine Band is the first musical institution inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in Cincinnati. Events included a gala performance by "The President's Own" at the Cincinnati Music Hall.
  • 200th anniversary

    The Marine Band celebrates its 200th anniversary with a command performance at the White House and gala concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., attended by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Also in 1998, the Marine Band produced its special 10-disc Bicentennial Collection.
  • 200 years in D.C.

    The Marine Band celebrates 200 years of Washington, D.C., performances. The band moved to Washington in 1800, when the nation's capital was relocated from Philadelphia.
  • World band conference

    The band performs at the Luzern Culture and Convention Center in Luzern, Switzerland, in conjunction with the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference. The Marine Band premièred composer David Rakowski's Pulitzer Prize nominated work, "Ten of a Kind," which it had commissioned in 2000.
  • 9/11 anniversary

    The band performs at Ground Zero for the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
  • First female assistant director

    First Lt. Michelle A. Rakers is appointed as the band's first female assistant director.
  • Band moves

    The band moves from its historic home at Marine Barracks Washington, at Eighth and I streets southeast in Washington, D.C., to the new Marine Barracks Annex and Marine Band Support Facility, located just around the corner at Seventh Street Southeast and Virginia Avenue Southeast.
  • Rehearsal hall dedicated

    On the sesquicentennial of John Philip Sousa's birth, the band dedicates its new rehearsal facility the "John Philip Sousa Band Hall."