“Marching to the beat of a special drummer” is one factor … however what about 27 totally different drummers?
Truly, these 27 drummers beat as one on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 17, 1927, as Kankakee’s American Legion Submit 85 Drum and Bugle Corps marched down the road in Paris, France.
The Kankakee drum corps — made up of 39 Submit 85 members supplemented by 38 musicians drawn from different Legion drum corps throughout the state — was in Paris as a part of the Illinois delegation to the Ninth Annual Nationwide Conference of the American Legion. The French authorities had invited the Legionnaires to carry their 1927 conference in Paris to mark the tenth anniversary of America’s entry into World Warfare I. Greater than 20,000 women and men members of the American Legion and its Auxiliary traveled to France for the week-long occasion (the American troops who arrived in France in 1917 have been known as the American Expeditionary Pressure; the 1927 Legion arrivals styled themselves because the “Second AEF”).
The total group of musicians didn’t follow collectively till Sunday, Sept. 4, solely three days earlier than the beginning of their journey to Paris. In its Tuesday version, the Kankakee Day by day Republican reported, “Throughout the previous few days, the lads have drilled virtually consistently and have marched many miles via the streets of town, perfecting their drills.”
At midday on that day, the drum corps members have been friends of honor at a banquet on the Resort Kankakee, then “marched via the downtown streets and executed various the brand new and troublesome maneuvers which they’ve perfected.”
Hours later, at 3 p.m., the lads boarded a northbound Illinois Central practice for Chicago, the primary leg of what can be a greater than week-long journey to Paris. After a dinner reception in Chicago, the group left aboard a particular Baltimore and Ohio Railroad practice certain for Washington, D.C., and New York Metropolis.
On Sept. 8, the musicians filed aboard the Cunard ocean liner Caronia, certain for Le Havre, France. After a five-day Atlantic Ocean crossing and one other railroad journey, they lastly arrived in Paris.
The conference would formally start on Sept. 19, with an enormous parade via the center of “The Metropolis of Mild,” however the Kankakee drum corps supplied an impromptu “preview” on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Underneath the headline, “Kankakee On Parade! Paris Gasps And Bows,” the Day by day Republican reported, “There’s a strict and hitherto unbroken legislation that no parades could also be held in Paris with no allow. However when the large band from Kankakee … marched down the avenues of Paris, drums beating and bugles blowing, did the gendarmes cease ‘em? No!”
Competitors to win the nationwide championship and be named the official drum corps of the American Legion befell on the second day of the conference.
In its Sept. 21 version, the Day by day Republican knowledgeable its readers, “The Kankakee composite American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps yesterday gained second within the nationwide competitors at Paris, France. The Miami, Fla., drum corps gained first and is the 1928 official corps. … Though Kankakee individuals and many individuals in different Illinois cities had firmly believed that the native submit would this yr win the championship, the information that they completed second and forward of scores of the world’s best organizations was obtained right here with rejoicing and pleasure.”
Since its debut in 1921 enjoying devices borrowed from a drum corps sponsored by Kankakee’s Masonic Lodge, the Kankakee Submit 85 Drum and Bugle Corps had constructed a proud profitable custom. In 1923, solely its third season, the Submit 85 corps took first place on the state American Legion conference at Danville. The group would repeat as state champion in 1924, then take first-place honors once more in 1926 and 1927. Nationally, Submit 85 completed third on the 1925 conference in Omaha, Neb. The next yr, in Philadelphia, they battled for the nationwide championship with a corps from Fort Dodge, Iowa, shedding by a fraction of some extent within the judging.
Except a interval within the late Melancholy and early World Warfare II years, Submit 85 sponsored a drum and bugle corps from 1921 to 1975. The group spanned generations. As music educator and Momence native Kevin McNulty put it not too long ago in a Fb submit, “After WWI the Vets shaped teams, after which the youngsters of Vets comprised most corps after WWII.”