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President and Mrs. Adams Invite the United States Marine Band

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President and Mrs. John Adams were the first occupants of the White House in the nation’s new capital, the City of Washington. Shortly after moving into the mansion in November 1800, the Adams’s invited the young United States Marine Band, consisting of only eight or ten musicians, to play at their first reception on New Years Day, 1801. This event established the tradition of the Marine Band’s performances at the White House that exists to the present day and has earned the organization the title, "The President’s Own." On July 4, 1806, the band performed also for President Thomas Jefferson, a fine amateur violinist and music lover, rendering the song "To Anacreon in Heaven" (or "The Anacreontic Song"). Eight years later this popular tune received new lyrics by Francis Scott Key, becoming immortalized as "The Star-Spangled Banner," and in 1931, President Hoover made the song America’s official national anthem.

Landmark Era Performance - 1801: The United States Marine Band performs at the first White House public reception on New Years Day.

Invitation from President and Mrs. John Adams sent to members of the Congress, judiciary, diplomatic community, and general public. The Marine Band made its White House debut at this dinner reception on New Year's Day, 1801.

White House Collection\White House Historical Association