John Philip Sousa was a composer and conductor best known for his military marches. This guide provides access to materials related to “John Philip Sousa” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Nationally revered as “The March King,” John Philip Sousa was one of the most significant composers of the 20th century. Whether he was composing marches, conducting bands, producing operettas, or writing novels, his contributions to the arts have been innumerous. His most renowned work, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” was even selected as the official march anthem of the United States. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Sousa leaves the U.S. Marine Band to form his own band in Chicago.
Sousa’s new comic opera “El Capitan” is met with great success.
May 16, 1897
First public performance of the “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
December 2, 1901
Sousa is awarded the medallion of the Victorian order by King Edward VII.
Sousa writes his first novel, “The Fifth String.”
Almost twenty years later and Sousa’s Band has traveled about 600,000 miles.
May 31, 1917
Sousa enlists in the U.S. Navy to conduct the national band.