The legendary John Philip Sousa United States Marine Band made their first appearance in Cape May City, New Jersey 142 years ago in 1882.

Chester A. Arthur was the President of the United at the time.

Arthur was the 21st President, who took office after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, who was shot in July, 1881 and died in September, 1881 … serving only months in office.

In those days, The President didn’t take office until March 4th of the next year. A President remained in office for 4 months following the election.

Inauguration Day is now January 20th, cutting the wait time by more than half for the new President or re-elected President to be inaugurated.

After our brief presidential history lesson, let’s go back to John Philip Sousa at Congress Hall.

They made their first appearance in Cape May City at Congress Hall between August 20-26, 1882.

At the time,, Sousa expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to play at America’s first seaside resort that he composed the actual Congress Hall March and dedicating it to then Congress Hall owners H.J. and G.R. Crump.

Congress Hall recently honored official Marching Music Day this past March 4, 2024.

Congress Hall opened in 1816 as a wooden boarding house for guests to stay in what was then the new seaside resort of Cape May City.

United States Presidents Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses, S, Grant, Benjamin Harrison, and Arthur visited and or stayed overnight at Congress Hall.

Congress Hall is a National Historic Landmark.

SOURCE: Congress Hall.

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