Celebrate Sousa’s Birthday Today

John Philip Sousa, December 18, 1892; Sousa family and band members on deck of H.S. Rotamohama leaving Melbourne, July 26, 1911 [Back row left to right — Manager Simmons, Edwin Clarke, Manager Hamton, and Priscilla Sousa. Front row Virginia Root, Virginia Root’s mother, Mrs. Sousa, John Philip Sousa, Nicoline Zedeler, and Mrs. Edwin Clarke]; and Virginia Root, John Philip Sousa, and Nicoline Zedeler standing in front of Sousa Band advertisement in Lima, Ohio.

While Mr. Sousa may not have greeted each birthday’s celebration with grand anticipation throughout his life, let us take a moment to celebrate what would be his 169th birthday on this November 6th.   The images in this post are rare photographs of the Sousa Band and Sousa Family’s travels with the band that were donated to the Center in May and are part of the Frances Carter and Marjorie Moore Sousa Research Files, 1856-2007.  This unique collection consists of correspondence between Sousa and his family, photographs, Sousa’s handwritten drafts of articles and books, band pins, scores, and the research files and original film scripts for the 1952 movie “Stars and Stripes Forever” documenting Sousa’s life and music career.  The collection is currently being processed and should be ready for researchers at the end of the year.  For more information about this collection either call 217-244-9309 or email schwrtzs@illinois.edu.

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