The Best Damn Band in the Land has a history of excellence at Ohio State equal to even its football team. Unbeknownst to most, TBDBITL began as a drum major corps during the 1879-80 school year.
It wasn't until the 1920's when Ohio State had a drum major with a flair for showmanship. Enter G. Edwin Essington, who by all appearances was a hustler of legendary proportions:
The rest, as they say, is history. Ohio State's Library has a full look at other drum major firsts, such as the first African-American and woman drum majors. It's worth your time.