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Created by President John Adams in 1798, the U.S. Marine Band is America´s oldest professional musical organization. Originally consisting of “a drum major, a fife major and 32 drums and fifes,” the Marine Band debuted at the White House in 1801 as part of President Adams´ first New Year´s Day reception. Since that time, the Marine Band has played at every presidential inauguration since Thomas Jefferson (who coined the term “The President´s Own”) and has been a part of numerous historic events such as President Lincoln´s immortal address at the Soldier´s National Cemetery at Gettysburg and the funeral march for President John. F. Kennedy.

This exhibit, produced by the White House Historical Association, illuminates the rich heritage of the Marine Band. Through photographs and interpretive texts, the exhibit explores what it takes to become a member of the Marine Band, the legacy of famed band director John Philip Sousa (director from 1880 – 1892), and the Marine Band´s roll in international diplomacy.


The U.S. Marine Band - "The President's Own"







National Museum of the Marine Corps
18900 Jefferson Davis Highway
Triangle, VA 22172
Toll Free: 1.877.635.1775

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