Archive for November 10, 2010

TRADITION: Happy 235th Birthday, USMC (Updated)

Let ’em Eat Cake, They’ve Earned It

(USMC photo, Sgt. Jimmy D. Shea)

Nov. 10 is the 235th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps, which got its start when the Continental Congress resolved on Nov. 10, 1775 to create two battalions of Marines.  Capt. (later Major) Samuel Nichols — considered the Corps’ first commandant — advertised in and around Philadelphia for “a few good men” and signed them up at Tun Tavern in Philly.

Sketch of Tun Tavern in the Revolutionary War. (National Archives via Wikipedia)

We at 4GWAR will be celebrating our Blog’s first birthday on Friday, Nov. 12, so we harbor a warm spot for other organizations born under the sign of Scorpio.

The Marine Corps Birthday is a big deal with the Corps (as big as Saint Crispin’s Day in England) and has been since 1921, when then-Commandant Major Gen. John LeJeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, summarizing the history, tradition and mission of the Marine Corps and directing that the order be read to every command on every subsequent Nov. 10, the Marine Corps Birthday.

Since 1952, the Marine Corps has had another tradition: the cake cutting ceremony. The 20th USMC commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the ceremony, stating the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest Marine present, who passes it to the youngest Marine.

Gen. James F. Amos, the 35th commandant of Marine Corps, cuts the ceremonial cake while Navy Secretary Ray Mabus looks on, to celebrate the 235th U.S. Marine Corps birthday at the Pentagon. (Sgt. Jimmy D. Shea)

In the photo above, Gen. Amos is cutting the cake with a Mameluke sword, the traditional sword of Marine officers, commemorating the Corps’ first post-Independence landing on foreign shores. So Happy Birthday Leathernecks and here’s to Presley O’Bannon and the seven Marines who landed on the shores of Tripoli. Let’s also toast Smedley Butler, John LeJeune (which people in-the-know say is actually pronounced LeZhurn) John Basilone, “Chesty” Puller, John Philip Sousa and Dan Daly, the man behind our favorite Marine Corps story … and to all the other Marines who’ve signed on since 1775.

God bless the United States and success to the Marines, as the traditional toast goes.

November 10, 2010 at 12:52 am Leave a comment


November 2010


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