Col. George Hinton, Sousa’s publicity manager, invented a publicity in stunt in 1900, which many believe, today, to be the truth. Although Sousa and his band were well-known in the U.S., this was not the case in Europe. Believing that the people would support a “countryman”, Hinton originated the story that the composer was really born in their country, but moved to the USA. On his luggage tags, supposedly, he had printed his initials S. O., then the destination: USA.
The composer’s name in England was to have been Sam Ogden, in France he was S. Oulette. In Germany his name had been Sigismund Ochs or Siegfried Otz. In Greece he was John Philipso. Sousa’s Biographer, Paul Bierley, gives even more detail in John Philip Sousa, American Phenomenon p. 67-69.
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