Branson, Missouri, the live music show capital of the world is “Gung-Ho” for America’s Veterans, active duty U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families all year long, but during Veterans Home Coming Week it reaches a new level. Running from November 5 through November 11, Veterans Homecoming week is filled with special events and activities for veterans, active duty military and their families highlighted by Branson’s Annual Veterans Day Parade. For a complete list of the activities visit the Veteran’s Homecoming Website www.bransonveterans.com/veterans-homecoming.htm.
Although there will be many events and activities for veterans, active duty personnel and their families, there is one that will be extra special to “The Few, The Proud, The Marines” as they gather together to celebrate the 234th birthday of their beloved Corps on November 10. The traditional “Marine Corps Birthday Ball,” sponsored by Branson.Com and celebrating the 234th birthday of the Corps, will be held at the Branson Convention Center. The keynote speaker will be the highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)
The roots for the Marine Corps Ball started in 1921 when the 13th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General John A. Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47 (Series 1921) in which was summarized the tradition, history and mission of the Corps. The order specifically directed, that it be read at all commands “on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year.”
As U.S. Marine commands read the order and honored the Corps some decided to celebrate the birthday of the Corps as well. This quickly evolved into the first formal Marine Corps Birthday Ball which was held in in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925. The evening started with the unveiling of a plaque at “Tun Tavern,” the birthplace of the U.S. Marine Corps, by General Lejeune, which was then followed by an evening of celebration at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel.
From 1925 through 1951, the honoring of the Crops as well as the Birthday Ball continued. In 1951 the 20th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Lemuel C. Shephered Jr., formalized some of the traditions adding the reading of a Commandant’s message in addition to General Lejeune’s Marine Corps Order No. 47 and the cake cutting ceremony including the use of U. S. Marine Corps Officer’s Mameluke Sword.
On November 10, 2009, between the hours of 5:00 p.m. to Midnight, Branson.Com proudly invites all Marines, Armed Forces personnel, Veterans and the general public to celebrate the 234th birthday of the United State Marine Corps at the Branson Convention Center. The cost is $50.00 per person which includes Birthday Ceremony, dinner, cash bar, ball and dancing. Call 1-800-268-3643 for additional information or reservation or visit the website www.Branson.Com.