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Stars & Stripes Playground

Crawford Ave. at Baychester Ave.


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This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), also known as the “March King”, enjoyed a lengthy career as a composer, bandmaster, and musician. One of ten children, Sousa was born in Washington, D.C. At the age of six he entered the Esputa Conservatory of Music where he mastered the violin. At the age of thirteen he enlisted as an apprentice in the U.S. Marine Band, of which his father was a member, and then toured with various theater orchestras in his early twenties. Sousa rejoined the U.S. Marine Band in 1880 and, as its director for over twelve years, greatly elevated the band’s popularity and professionalism.

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