Happy 137th, Smedley
On this day in 1881 in West Chester, PA, Smedley Darlington Butler was authorized one body, human, which he used to join the Marines some 38 days before his 17th birthday during the great national crisis that was the Spanish–American War.
Some 34 years later, he retired as a full Maj. Gen (the highest rank authorised in the Corps at the time) after fighting in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the “Banana Wars,” and in France during the Great War, earning not just one but two Medals of Honor.
While in the Corps “The Fighting Quaker” wrote on counter insurgency warfare which was later published along with other texts as The Small Wars Manual in 1940 and, five years before his death at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, penned the slightly more notorious War is a Racket.
Here is Butler’s campaign hat on display at the National Marine Corps Museum.