• December



Military Events That Happened on Christmas – 1896: “Stars and Stripes Forever” is Written

4 Major Military Events That Happened on Christmas
DEC. 17, 2018 | BY KATIE LANGE

On Christmas Day every year, many Americans relax and enjoy time with their families. For many of our troops, though, it can be a day of sacrifice and hardship.

Over the history of the U.S., several big military actions have taken place on December 25. Here are four noteworthy ones.

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#4) 1972: Operation Linebacker II in North Vietnam

While this wasn’t exactly a military action, it’s definitely a symbol of America’s military might.

John Philip Sousa, who grew up during the Civil War, was a talented musician who became a long-time director of the U.S. Marine Band. Known as the “March King,” he was a rock star of his time, eventually starting his own band in 1892.

On Christmas Day 1896, while crossing the Atlantic on his way home from a European vacation, Sousa’s lasting legacy came to him. He said the notes for “Stars and Stripes Forever” were born out of homesickness and fond memories of his time as the Marine Band’s leader.

The iconic song officially became America’s national march in 1987.

So this holiday season, while you’re enjoying leave, family, friends and feasts, think of some of your fellow troops, past and present, who had to forgo their holidays for the greater good of the country. While you’re at it, you might even want to put on “Stars and Stripes Forever” in their honor.

Have a great holiday season, everybody!

Story credit: 4 Major Military Events That Happened on Christmas
DEC. 17, 2018 | BY KATIE LANGE; https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/story/Article/1713087/4-major-military-events-that-happened-on-christmas/
Photo credit: On this stereoscopic card, the John Philip Sousa Band plays on a bandstand in Philadelphia around 1900 while two band members wave American flags. Photo By: Library of Congress photo

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