Our National Anthem Celebrates its 200th Anniversary

flagFrances Scott Key was a 35-year-old Washington lawyer who’d been opposed to America’s entry into the War of 1812 from the beginning. But on the evening of September 13, 1814, he found himself watching as a prisoner on a navy ship, as the British mercilessly attacked Fort McHenry, a small fort protecting the city of Baltimore.

Key later remembered thinking it unlikely that the Americans guarding the Fort could withstand the attack, which lasted more than 24 hours.

But the next morning, he made an observation that would later be forever preserved in history:

The American flag was still there.

He was so “overcome with joy”  Key began to write words to the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which was then set to music and became our beloved “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

 

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