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The Star Spangled Banner



Francis Scott Key was born August 1, 1779 to Ann Phoebe Penn Dagworthy and John Ross Key of Frederick County, Maryland. He was an American lawyer (and amateur poet) infamously detained aboard a British Royal Navy ship at the Battle of Fort McHenry during The War of 1812.

He is probably best known for writing the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner , and rightfully so, because his words tell quite a story…

The lyrics to our national anthem were originally intended as a poem titled “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” It vividly summarizes the anxious hours Key spent watching as British bombshells produced red streaks across the night sky. The bombings continued late into the night, and at one point, the fort’s storm flag was lowered. A larger flag was raised, but the colors of the flag would not be visible until morning. In the early hours of September 14, 1814 Key watched (o’er the ramparts) as bold stripes and bright stars waved above the embattled fort, celebrating U.S. soldiers’ victory over the British forces.

Today, that original flag (which measured 30’x42′) is preserved at the Smithsonian, and Fort McHenry is maintained as a National Monument and Historic Shrine. Visitors to the fort can hoist a replica of the flag and relive those now famous moments of 1814.

2 Comments to “The Star Spangled Banner”

  1. Minor Music says:

    Required Listening
    Here’s a link to The President’s Own… Enjoy and share.


  2. […] For more on the Star Spangled Banner click here. […]

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