Sousa wrote a March at the invitation of The Washington Post. This newspaper had in 1889 an essay contest for children, and the intention was that the March would be carried out during the award ceremony. Sousa met the request. The March was first performed at the awards ceremony, on June 15 of that year, on the grounds of the Smithsonian Museum, in the presence of president Benjamin Harrison. The music piece instantly fell in the taste and a British journalist named Sousa after hearing this music the March King, a nickname that the composer would wear the rest of his life. The March is still popular in the United States, and is also performed a lot in Europe .
The March is written in the 6/8 metre and is not only suitable as mars, but also as dance music.