ARLINGTON, Va. --
On November 10, 2021, Marines across the globe will recognize and acknowledge 246 years of service to their country, the sacrifices made to defend democracy, and the Marine Corps’ enduring legacy as America’s premier fighting force.
The Marine Corps’ annual tradition celebrates the establishment of the organization on November 10, 1775, by the Second Continental Congress. Following their role in the American Revolution, the Marines were abolished following the Treaty of Paris in April 1783. Then, on July 11, 1798, Congress ordered the creation of the Marine Corps and directed that it be available for service under the Secretary of the Navy.
The birthday, also known as Marine Corps Day, was originally celebrated on July 11 from 1799 until 1921 when Major General Lejeune issued an order to formalize the tradition and establish the official day to honor the birthday of the Marine Corps. The ceremony traditionally includes a guest of honor, a reading of Gen. Lejeune’s birthday message and the current Commandant’s message, recognition of the oldest and youngest Marine present, and a cake cutting.
While the first cake ceremony is unknown, 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, the birthplace of the Corps.