The Star-Spangled Banner

national anthemAmerican national anthemU.S. national anthemthe national anthemUnited States National AnthemStar Spangled BannerThe Star Spangled BannerStar-Spangled BannerUS national anthemAmerican
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States.wikipedia
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Francis Scott Key

KeyF. Scott KeyF.S. Key
The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
Francis Scott Key (August 1, 1779 – January 11, 1843) was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland who is best known for writing a poem which later became the lyrics for the United States' national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Battle of Baltimore

Baltimoreattack on Baltimorebombardment of Fort McHenry
The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
The resistance of Baltimore's Fort McHenry during bombardment by the Royal Navy inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the poem "Defence of Fort McHenry", which later became the lyrics for "The Star-Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States of America.

John Stafford Smith

SmithStafford Smith
The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London.
Stafford Smith is best known for writing the music for "The Anacreontic Song", which became the tune for the American patriotic song "The Star-Spangled Banner" following the War of 1812, and in 1931 was adopted as the national anthem of the United States.

Baltimore

Baltimore, MarylandBaltimore, MDBaltimore City
On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington and the Raid on Alexandria, Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner set sail from Baltimore aboard the ship HMS Minden, flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison.
During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Baltimore after the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

Fort McHenry

Bombardment of Fort McHenryFort McHenry National MonumentMcHenry
The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
The sight of the ensign inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry" that was later set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" and became known as "The Star Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States.

My Country, 'Tis of Thee

AmericaAmerica (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)My Country 'Tis
"My Country, 'Tis of Thee", whose melody is identical to "God Save the Queen", the United Kingdom's national anthem, also served as a de facto national anthem.
The song served as one of the de facto national anthems of the United States (along with songs like "Hail, Columbia") before the adoption of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the official U.S. national anthem in 1931.

Star-Spangled Banner (flag)

Star-Spangled BannerAmerican flaggarrison flag
Key was inspired by the large U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory. The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution.
Seeing the flag during the battle inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry", which, retitled with the flag's name from the closing lines of the first stanza and set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith, later became the national anthem of the United States.

Hail, Columbia

Hail ColumbiaThe President's MarchSalve, Columbia
"Hail, Columbia" served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century.
It was previously considered, with several other songs, one of the unofficial national anthems of the United States until 1931, when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was named as the official national anthem.

America the Beautiful

AmericaFrom sea to shining seaO Beautiful
Following the War of 1812 and subsequent U.S. wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them "America the Beautiful", which itself was being considered before 1931, as a candidate to become the national anthem of the United States.
At various times in the more than 100 years that have elapsed since the song was written, particularly during the John F. Kennedy administration, there have been efforts to give "America the Beautiful" legal status either as a national hymn or as a national anthem equal to, or in place of, "The Star-Spangled Banner," but so far this has not yet succeeded.

HMS Tonnant

TonnantHMS ''Tonnant HMS Tonnant
Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant on September 7 and spoke with Major General Robert Ross and Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane over dinner while the two officers discussed war plans.
Key went on to write what later became the words to the American national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner" after watching the British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry.

Mary Young Pickersgill

Mary Pickersgill
This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary Young Pickersgill together with other workers in her home on Baltimore's Pratt Street.
The flag was installed in August 1813, and, a year later, during the Battle of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key could see the flag while negotiating a prisoner exchange aboard a British vessel, and was inspired to pen the words that became the United States National Anthem.

Flag of the United States

American flagStars and StripesU.S. flag
Key was inspired by the large U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory.
It was the 15-star, 15-stripe flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "Defence of Fort M'Henry", later known as "The Star Spangled Banner", which is now the American national anthem.

National anthem

anthemnational songstate anthem
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States.
Even within a state, the state's citizenry may interpret the national anthem differently (such as in the United States some view the U.S. national anthem as representing respect for dead soldiers and policemen whereas others view it as honoring the country generally).

To Anacreon in Heaven

The Anacreontic SongTo Anacreon in Heav'n
"To Anacreon in Heaven" (or "The Anacreontic Song"), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States.
The combination of Key's poem and Smith's composition became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner", which was adopted as the national anthem of the United States of America in 1931.

HMS Terror (1813)

HMS ''TerrorTerrorHMS Terror
During the bombardment, HMS Terror and HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air".
She also fought in the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814 and participated in the bombardment of Fort McHenry; the latter attack inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that eventually became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner".

John Stuart Skinner

Col. John S. SkinnerJohn Skinner
On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington and the Raid on Alexandria, Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner set sail from Baltimore aboard the ship HMS Minden, flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison.
On their way back to Baltimore, Key was inspired to write a poem, "Defence of Fort M'Henry", that later became the American national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner."

Amelia Fowler

It was restored in 1914 by Amelia Fowler, and again in 1998 as part of an ongoing conservation program.
Amelia Fowler, an embroidery teacher and well-known flag preserver, was the master needle worker who restored the original Star Spangled Banner in 1914.

1918 World Series

1918World Series1918 Series
The playing of the song two years later during the seventh-inning stretch of Game One of the 1918 World Series, and thereafter during each game of the series is often cited as the first instance that the anthem was played at a baseball game, though evidence shows that the "Star-Spangled Banner" was performed as early as 1897 at opening day ceremonies in Philadelphia and then more regularly at the Polo Grounds in New York City beginning in 1898.
The 1918 World Series marked the first time "The Star Spangled Banner" was performed at a major league game.

National Museum of American History

Smithsonian National Museum of American HistoryMuseum of History and TechnologyNMAH
The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution.
Located in the center of the second floor (2 Center) is the original Star Spangled Banner Flag which inspired Francis Scott Key's poem.

War of 1812

the War of 1812war1812
The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
The defence of the fort inspired the American lawyer Francis Scott Key to write "Defence of Fort M'Henry", a poem that was later set to music as "The Star-Spangled Banner".

God Save the Queen

God Save the Kingnational anthemBritish national anthem
"My Country, 'Tis of Thee", whose melody is identical to "God Save the Queen", the United Kingdom's national anthem, also served as a de facto national anthem.
The American patriotic hymn "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", the lyrics of which were written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831. The song is often quoted – alongside "Hail, Columbia" – as a de facto national anthem for the United States, before the de jure adoption of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1931.

Ferdinand Durang

Richard Ferdinand
The song's popularity increased and its first public performance took place in October when Baltimore actor Ferdinand Durang sang it at Captain McCauley's tavern.
Ferdinand Durang (c. 1785 – 1831) was an American actor, best known as the first person to sing publicly Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Robert Ripley

Mr. RipleyRipley, RobertRobert L. Ripley
On April 15, 1929, Linthicum introduced the bill again, his sixth time doing so. On November 3, 1929, Robert Ripley drew a panel in his syndicated cartoon, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, saying "Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem".
Despite the widespread belief that "The Star-Spangled Banner", with its lyrics by Francis Scott Key set to the music of the English drinking song "To Anacreon in Heaven", was the United States national anthem, Congress had never officially made it so. In 1931, John Philip Sousa published his opinion in favor of giving the song official status, stating that "it is the spirit of the music that inspires" as much as it is Key's "soul-stirring" words.

HMS Starr (1805)

MeteorHMS ''MeteorHMS ''Starr
During the bombardment, HMS Terror and HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air".
Thus, "the bombs bursting in air" from The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key were, at least in part, Meteors.

Congreve rocket

rocketrocketsCongreve rockets
During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort's smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shell and Congreve rocket barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn.
It was the use of ship-launched Congreve rockets by the British in the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the US in 1814 that inspired the fifth line of the first verse of the United States' National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner": "and the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air".