2The Star Spangled Banner is a very old, large flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the American/British War of 1812.The flag was large so that everyone could see that the fort belonged to the Americans.
3The U.S. Government paid Mary $405.90 to make the flag. Mary Pickersgill made the Star Spangled Banner . The fabric was English wool bunting.The U.S. Government paid Mary $ to make the flag.She started in July 1813 and finished in August 1813.The flag was 30 x 42 feet and was flown on a 90 foot pole.Click herefor more info
4Francis Scott Key was a 35 year old Washington lawyer and amateur poet who wrote the lyrics for our national anthem.He was a religious man opposed to war.The British had just burned the Capitol and were marching toward Baltimore by land and sea.Dr. Willliam Bean had been captured by the British.In August of 1814, Dr. Bean’s friends asked Francis Scott Key to negotiate his release from the British.
5On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key traveled on a truce ship to meet the British Fleet. The British agreed to release Dr. Bean.So as not to warn the Americans of the British attack, the truce ship was forced to remain with the British fleet until the battle was over.
6Key’s truce ship was 8 miles from Fort McHenry. For 25 hours, the passengers on the truce ship watched the British bomb Fort McHenry.The attack ended at 7:30 a.m. on September 14th.
7Even from 8 miles, Francis Scott Key could see the large flag and knew that Fort McHenry had not surrendered.
8Francis Scott Key took a letter from his pocket and started to write a poem describing his feelings. The truce ship returned to Baltimore on September 16th.Key revised and made additions to the poem.
9This is the original manuscript Francis Scott Key wrote. He made 3 handwritten copies.
10Called a broadside, it was probably printed in Baltimore on Sept Everyone at Fort McHenry was given a copy.Notice it was originally titled “Defense of Fort McHenry”.
11The poem was set to the tune of a popular English drinking song, “To Anacreon in Heaven”. You really need to hear this!To Anacreon in heaven where he sat in full glee, A few sons of harmony sent a petition, That he their inspirer and patron would be, When this answer arrived from the jolly old Grecian: Voice, fiddleaud flute, no longer be mute, I'll lend you my name and inspire you to boot! And besides I'll instruct you like me to entwine The myrtle of Venus and Bacchus's vine.
12The first public performance took place on October 19, 1814. John Philips Sousa arranged the Star Spangled Banner into a stirring march helping to boost its popularity.The Star Spangled Banner became our National Anthem in 1931.
13Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
14And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
15O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?