National Anthem Day

National Anthem Day

We've all heard the "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key, it is a glorious, triumphant ballad celebrating the glorious flag we all (or least those who love this country and understand what the flag represents and those who died for it) stand for at sporting events, patriotic celebrations, in schools, and other venues. 

Did you know the "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written during the War of 1812  penned on the back of an envelope as a poem and did not officially become our national anthem until 1931? 

Here's what happened...

Francis Scott Key was a lawyer and amateur poet. In 1814 he set out sailing with a friend to arrange for the release of prisoners taken on British ships. Upon negotiations of the prisoners' release, he and his comrades were detained as they had overheard the details of the Royal Navy's planned attack on Baltimore Harbor. Forced to watch the attacks on Fort McHenry, later known as the "Battle of Baltimore," Francis was inspired seeing a flag with stars and stripes triumphantly flying over the base in the morning, signaling victory. Scribbling his four stanza poem, he tucked it away for safe keeping. 

It was only later that he showed the poem to his brother-in-law who put him in touch with British composter John Stafford Smith. Later in the year, Thomas Carr, the owner of a music store in Baltimore, published the music and lyrics together. The song circulated for years and grew in popularity. However, it wasn't until March 3, 1931 that President Herbert Hoover signed a bill adopting "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the official anthem of the United States of America, it's first official national anthem. 

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