Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps

I am honored to serve on the border with many retired and former active duty Marines.  Around midnight on the border near Red Shank, Tierra Del Sol, California, 8NOV09, Golf 1 and I had the privilege of speaking at length with one such man who had gone on to become a Border Patrol Agent.  I was never a Marine so I will not say Semper Fidelis.  I can only say, "Stay Always Vigilant my friends," or "Semper Vigilans".
Happy Birthday and thank you for your service to our country.
Semper Vi,

   "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.  Further, through magazines it is advertised to Marines throughout the world."


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One response

  1. J J

    Charlie, Congratulations on your tribute to the Marine Corps Birthday. I also remember it every year, as my birthday falls on the 10th of November, also! Even though I never was in the service myself, the time I spend as a MM makes me feel like I am serving my country in my own special way. I know you and the other MM feel the same way. Many of my buddies here in Grand Junction are Vietnam Vets, and I've learned a lot from their experiences.Semper Vigilans,! Have a good Marine Corps Birthday Charlie! I'll be working at a free carwash for Veterans tomorrow, on Veterans' Day…J J

    November 10, 2009 at 12:23

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