Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 10, 1775 -- 2010

The United States Marine Corps is 235 years old today. This is an U.S. Navy photograph taken during birthday ceremonies at the Marine Corps Monument in Washington, D.C., on November 10, 2008. Semper Fidelis .... to those who began it, to those who have done it, to those who do it today .... now and forever ....

The birth of the Marine Corps
from "Warrior Culture of the U.S. Marines"
by Marion F. Sturkey


Ask any Marine. Just ask. He will tell you that the Marine Corps was born in Tun Tavern on 10 November 1775. But, beyond that the Marine's recollection for detail will probably get fuzzy. So, here is the straight scoop:

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.

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.

Tun Tavern still lives today. And, Tun Tavern beer is still readily available throughout the Philadelphia area.



4 comments:

Kaya said...

The Marine Corps is 235 years old today. Wow! I didn't know it.

Today is a big day for you, Fram !!!!!!

Could I imagine that I, immigrant from Lithuania, would read an article about Marine Corps and write to a friend who once upon a time served in US Marine Corps? Probably, never. Could I imagine that my best girl friend who got into accident would take me to Air Force base a few times to spend some time there? She served for a long time as a nurse in Air Force. No, I couldn't. Do you see interesting things can happen any time.

I think I learned some interesting facts about the Marine Corps from an article by Marion F. Sturkey. Thank you for that, Fram.

And does really any Marine really know that the Marine Corps was born in Tun Tavern in 1775?

Some day I might taste even Tun Tavern beer. Is it only throughout the Philadelphia area??? Or I can find it everywhere else.

Do you know I always wanted to ask you and I think it's a good time. How did it affect your personality serving in Marine Corps? Would you be a different person if you never were in Marine Corps? Did it change you attitude toward people and life?

I like the Marine Corps Hymn. For you it's probably a very special hymn.

And the second video about Marine Silent Drill Team is great. I watched it with a great interest.

Today is a special day for you and do something very special on this day, Fram. Even a" little" special.

Fram Actual said...

Well, this year the Marine Corps anniversary will be only a day for reflection for me, Kaya, although I have attended birthday balls on a couple of occasions in the past and they provided particularly enjoyable evenings and nights to remember.

Yes, interesting things can happen at any time, and this seems to become even more true with each and every passing decade. Incidentally, I almost joined the Air Force twice, but fate intervened to prevent it on both occasions.

And, yes, I really think each and every man and woman who served in the Marine Corps knows where and when the Corps came into being. The traditions and the history of the Corps are taught religiously to new recruits.

As for Tun Tavern beer, I do not recall ever running across it. Maybe, someday.

I really am not sure how to answer your questions about the effect of the Corps on my life and attitude. I had what might be described as a para-military encounter before my time in the Corps and, in fact, joined because of the influence of an ex-Marine I met during that time frame. Put it this way, I knew what I was getting into, so there were no surprises.

That said, yes, it did change me in many ways. I will think about your questions, and, maybe, say more another time.

Wind said...

Yes, I think that Marine Corps
changed your way of seeing things and
maybe your behaviour.Marine Corps is another world I think...What to say...it is your world and I cannot interfere, only to think of you and of your world!

Fram Actual said...

The Marine Corps changes and evolves the way individuals change and evolve, Daliana. In some ways, I was an excellent Marine; in other ways, I was a poor Marine. But, it is like a birthmark in the sense that it remains a part of everyone who has been there and anyone who has been there never can escape from it. I do not think this is true in regard to most other military units anywhere in the world.

To some, it is a way of life and is their father, mother, wife and child. To me, it was like a chapter in the book of my life and, no doubt, will affect the end of my story in some manner.

Meanwhile, Wind has no boundaries.

Something special ....