On July 11, 1798, President John Adams approved legislation that officially brought "The President's Own" United States Marine Band into being, making the Marine Band America's oldest professional musical organization. The fledgling band consisted of a "drum major, fife major and 32 drums and fifes." When the nation's capital relocated from Philadelphia to the new Federal city of Washington in 1800, the Marine Band came with the chief executive and made its White House debut at President and Mrs. John Adams' first New Year's Day reception in 1801.
Present at many of the most memorable and cherished moments in our nation's history, the band played for the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg when President Abraham Lincoln gave his immortal address. It has provided music for every inauguration since the time of Thomas Jefferson, the president who gave them the title, "The President's Own."
In this exhibition the White House Historical Association presents the story of the United States Marine Band and its distinguished history.
Listen to the Marine Band
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The White House Historical Association | Exhibits