Congressional Cemetery Closed to Honor Sousa Friday

Enjoy US Marine Band Performance via Live-Stream of Event

1252
The United States Marine Band enters Congressional Cemetery for the 163rd birthday celebrations of John Philip Sousa in 2017. E.O'Gorek/CCN
The Historic Congressional Cemetery grounds will be closed on Friday, Nov. 6th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the commemoration of John Philip Sousa’s birthday. The event will be live-streamed for all to enjoy.
The closure affects:
  • K9 Members
  • Day Passers
  • Family Visits

The Marine Corps band will enter through the 17th Street gate at precisely 11:00 a.m. for a 25 minute concert at the grave site, located near the chapel.

The March King

John Pillip Sousa (November 6, 1860 to March 6, 1932) was known as the “March King”. Beginning in 1880, Sousa led the Marine Band, also known as ‘The President’s Own Band,’ through five presidents before retiring in 1892 to lead his civilian band, the Sousa Band.

Assistant Director Captain Ryan J. Nowlin of the United States Marine Corps Band salutes after laying a wreath on the grave of former band leader John Philip Sousa during the 2017 ceremony. E.O’Gorek/CCN

The US Marine Corps Band honors Sousa’s birthday every year at an event at Congressional Cemetery, during which the band he once led plays many of his best-known pieces. Often, an actor portraying John Pillip Sousa is present to give remarks. A representative lays a wreath on his grave, located in the cemetery near the chapel.

Sousa was born in a house near Sixth and G Streets SE. After an attempt at the age of 13 to run away as a musician with the circus, Sousa’s father enrolled him in the Marine Corps as a musician apprentice.

The March King was the composer of such renowned pieces as “Semper Fidelis,” the Official March of the United States Marine Corps, “The Washington Post” and “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the National March of the United States.

Congressional Cemetery will be live-streaming the event this year. Please visit this linkk to view the live-stream:  https://www.youtube.com/user/usmarineband/featured
Learn more about Congressional Cemetery and the COVID-19 restrictions in place daily by visiting congressionalcemetery.org