The 100th Marine Corps Birthday Ball
Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, fathered many Marine Corps' birthday traditions, including the first Marine Corps Birthday Ball, held in Philadelphia in 1925. We will hold the 100th Marine Corps Birthday Ball where General Lejeune held the 1st Ball.
The Marine Corps used to celebrate its birthday on July 11, the date in 1798 when the U.S. Marine Corps was reestablished by President John Adams and Congress in Philadelphia. In 1921, General Lejeune issued Order No. 47, which proclaimed that the Marine Corps birthday should be celebrated "hereafter on the 10th of November of every year," because "On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress" in Philadelphia.
To celebrate the 150th Birthday of the Marine Corps, the first recorded Marine Corps Birthday Ball was held in 1925 in Philadelphia. Guests included the Secretary of the Navy, Commandant Lejeune, and Marine hero Smedley Butler, then serving as Philadelphia's Director of Public Safety. After they unveiled a tablet on the site of Tun Tavern, and after Marines paraded through Philadelphia, Philadelphia hosted the 1st Marine Corps Birthday Ball. The evening banquet was held at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel and a ball followed at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel.
For the Marine Corps 250th Celebration, we will hold the 100th Marine Corps Birthday Ball where General Lejeune held the 1st Marine Corps Birthday Ball in 1925. The ballrooms at the Ben Franklin and Bellevue are ready, with the Bellevue Ballroom preserved as it looked when General Lejeune created this grand tradition. We can also host a larger Ball at the nearby Pennsylvania Convention Center, to give as many Marines as possible the chance to celebrate their 100th Ball in the City where the 1st Marine Corps Birthday Ball was held by General Lejeune.