Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 5, January 30

Do you know how the Marines got the nickname "leathernecks?"  I didn't.   Not until I read the history of America fighting the Barbary Priates did I learn how the name came about.

Around 1815, Tripoli's attacks on American ships reached an all-time high.  The bravery of the United States Marine Corps in the war of fighting the pirates led to the phrase "to the shores of Tripoli" in the Marine hymn.  Marines were issued uniforms with leather collars that prevented their heads from being chopped off by Muslim scimitars as pirates boarded their ships.

The name stuck, and Marines are proud to be called leathernecks to this day.


  1. What a fascinating bit of history! My BIL was a Marine, but I never knew that.

  2. I love learning about the origin of traditions. Thanks, Jane!

  3. Have you heard the Marines song? It takes a poke at the Army and the Navy. It's just like brothers. Honorable servicemen make me proud to be American.