Happy birthday to our national anthem

It was on this day in 1814 that a young American lawyer and poet named Francis Scott Key wrote what was to become his most famous poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry,” while on board a British Navy ship in Chesapeake Bay. Key had been negotiating with the British for the release of a prisoner they had taken in their raid on Washington, but because he had heard about the Navy’s plans for attacking Baltimore, he was not released until after the battle. That was how he came to witness the bombardment of Fort McHenry from the deck of H.M.S. Tonnant on the night of September 13. When the sun rose the following morning, and Key saw the Stars and Stripes flying over Fort McHenry, the sight inspired him to write a poem. Soon afterward, Key’s words were set to the melody of a popular song by English composer John Stafford Smith, and it quickly became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“The Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem of the United States on March 3, 1931. Often criticized for being difficult to sing and/or for glorifying warfare, it remains stubbornly popular with the American people; and two centuries after its composition, its ability to send a shiver up the spine and bring a tear to the eye remain intact.

6 Responses to Happy birthday to our national anthem

  1. Tricia says:

    Fantastic info, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bydesign001 says:

    Reblogged this on PUMABydesign001's Blog and commented:
    Okay, I’m a day late but it’s a heartfelt feeling, nevertheless. God bless America.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Happy birthday to our national anthem […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tho I would rather have *America the Beautiful* as our anthem, I am glad that the SSB really can be performed well and that U shared a really good traditional performance of the SSB.  A good nontraditional version can be enjoyed at

    Liked by 1 person

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