Happy birthday to our national anthem

It was on this day in 1814 that an 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 a 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. “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem of the United States on March 3, 1931. 

5 Responses to Happy birthday to our national anthem

  1. floridaborne says:

    Thanks for repeating the history. It is refreshing to see truth.

    I’m seeing all our heroes, from the revolutionary war, to the Alamo to the civil war an onward being RE-IMAGINED so that the younger generations believe our founding to be a joke and our heroes to be cowards.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bluecat57 says:

    Worst national anthem according to Neal Boortz.


  3. John Holton says:

    “To Anacreon In Heaven” is the name of the melody. I think someone called it a drinking song…

    My favorite is the fourth verse:

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. egorr says:

    From diaries and eyewitness reports, those brave men in the Fort would put Old Glory back up again when it was knocked over (the Brits were aiming at it!) – several people were killed in these attempts.
    Would that we now have such men now, they are sorely needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennie says:

    I tell this story to my preschoolers of Key on the boat watching the battle and looking to see the American flag. When I learned that our country did not have a National Anthem until 1931, I was shocked. I called my mother and she said it was true, America sang “My Country Tis of Thee” until then. Did you know that Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America” because he didn’t like our National Anthem? And, Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land is Your Land” because he didn’t like “God Bless America”. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: