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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Continental Congress Establishes United States The Marine Corps - 10 November 1775

MARINES!

AGENCIES
11/10/2014

"Resolved, That two Battalions of Marines be raised, consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors, and other officers as usual in other regiments; and that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken, that no persons be appointed to office, or inlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required: that they be inlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress: that they be distinguished by the names of the first and second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered part of the number which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of."[1]

In the year 1685, Samuel Carpenter built a huge "brew house" in Philadelphia. He located this tavern on the waterfront at the corner of Water Street and Tun Alley. The old English word tun means a cask, barrel, or keg of beer. So, with his new beer tavern on Tun Alley, Carpenter elected to christen the new waterfront brewery with a logical name, Tun Tavern.


Tun Tavern quickly gained a reputation for serving fine beer. Beginning 47 years later in 1732, the first meetings of the St. John's No. 1 Lodge of the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Temple were held in the tavern. An American of note, Benjamin Franklin, was its third Grand Master. Even today the Masonic Temple of Philadelphia recognizes Tun Tavern as the birthplace of Masonic teachings in America.

Roughly ten years later in the early 1740s, the new proprietor expanded Tun Tavern and gave the addition a new name, "Peggy Mullan's Red Hot Beef Steak Club at Tun Tavern." 


The new restaurant became a smashing commercial success and was patronized by notable Americans. In 1747 the St. Andrews Society, a charitable group dedicated to assisting poor immigrants from Scotland, was founded in the tavern.


In the midst of Korean fighting, bakers of First Marine Regiment turned out an elaborate 100-pound cake for Marine Corps birthday on Nov. 10, 1950. Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller delighted his men by slicing it up with captured North Korean sabre after reading traditional message of rededication to service of the United States. Moments later, the Marines were on their way to battle once more. Photo Credit: Cpl Wolfe

Nine years later, then Col. Benjamin Franklin organized the Pennsylvania Militia. He used Tun Tavern as a gathering place to recruit a regiment of soldiers to go into battle against the Indian uprisings that were plaguing the American colonies. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Continental Congress later met in Tun Tavern as the American colonies prepared for independence from the English Crown.




On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines. That very day, Nicholas set up shop in Tun Tavern. He appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the tavern, to the job of chief Marine Recruiter -- serving, of course, from his place of business at Tun Tavern. Prospective recruits flocked to the tavern, lured by (1) cold beer and (2) the opportunity to serve in the new Corps of Marines. So, yes, the U.S. Marine Corps was indeed born in Tun Tavern. Needless to say, both the Marine Corps and the tavern thrived during this new relationship.


Col. Frank A. Richie, center, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, cuts the first slice of Marine Corps birthday cake as the air station and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing celebrated the Marine Corps’ 236th birthday aboard MCAS Miramar, Calif., Nov. 9. According to tradition, the guest of honor takes the first slice, then the oldest Marine present shares a slice with the youngest Marine present. The Marine Corps has celebrated its "birthday" since its inception, Nov. 10, 1775. Photo credit: Lance Cpl. Erica Disalvo

Tun Tavern still lives today. And, Tun Tavern beer is still readily available throughout the Philadelphia area. Further, through magazines it is advertised to Marines throughout the world.[2]

After success in many campaigns, the Corps was abolished at the close of the Revolutionary War for reasons of economy. On July 11, 1798, Congress ordered the creation of the Corps, named it the United States Marine Corps and directed that it be available for service under the Secretary of the Navy.




The Corps celebrated its birthday, or Marine Corps Day, on July 11 from 1799 until 1921 when the date was permanently changed to November 10 to commemorate the establishment of the Corps to aid in the Revolutionary War.

The day is still observed by U. S. Marines worldwide. Special exhibits, parades, drill team performances, and speeches typically mark the occasion. The Birthday Ball, which culminates in the cutting of the birthday cake, is held that evening in Washington, D.C. It is not possible to determine precisely when the first cake ceremony was held, but the first on record took place at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., in 1937. Major General Thomas Holcomb, the Commandant, presided at an open house for Marine Corps officers, including the cutting of a huge cake in the shape of Tun Tavern.[3]




Notes:

[1] http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq59-14.htm

[2] http://www.usmcpress.com/heritage/usmc_heritage.htm

[3]http://www.defense.gov/afd/marinecorps.aspx



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