Portuguese Immigrants in the United States

John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 6, 1854. His father was born in Spain of Portuguese parents and his mother was Bavarian. Sousa, known as the "March King," ranks among the most famous American composers and conductors. On December 25, 1896, he composed The Stars and Stripes Forever, the official march of the United States of America. Sousa was the inventor of the sousaphone. He died on March 6, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania and is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Sousa was the leader of the U.S. Marine Band from 1880 until 1892. After leaving the Marine Band, he formed his own band, which toured Europe several times and was the first American band to make a tour around the world. The band had its own baseball team.

The American Memory project includes several items related to Sousa. The 1902 baseball poster to the right is part of Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s and the 1925 photograph of Sousa's band at Chautauqua shown below is part of Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991. These images are housed in the reading room of the Prints and Photographs Division, and they and other images can also be searched through their catalog. The catalog is not a comprehensive list and many additional, uncataloged images can be found in the reading room.

Link to record

The American Treasures of the Library of Congress exhibition includes two items related to The Stars and Stripes Forever: the first recording of the nation's official march is shown on a Gramophone belonging to the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division and reportedly owned by Thomas Edison, and the march's lyrics and an image of a manuscript belonging to the Music Division are included in the exhibition.

The Music Division holds the John Philip Sousa Collection, which includes autographed copies of manuscripts for the majority of his works. See the list of List of Special Collections of the Music Division for a description of this collection or the Special Collections of the Music Division page for an image of an autographed keyboard score of Sousa's The Washington Post.

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Comments: Ask a Librarian ( July 15, 2010 )
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