In the War of 1812, the U.S. cap- tured and burned the Canadian city of York. Find York on the map. (Click the mouse.)
In return, the British marched on Washington D.C. They burned the White House, the Capitol, and other buildings. (Click again.)
The British built a huge bonfire out of the furniture taken from the White House. President Madison and his wife, Dolly, barely had time to get out of the city.
The British next moved to take Ft. McHenry near Baltimore, MD. They bombarded the fort with cannonballs fired from land and nearby ships. (Click the mouse.)
Aboard the British flag- ship was an American prisoner of war, Dr. Beanes. A laywer friend of his, Francis Scott Key, rowed out to the British ships. He asked the British to let Dr. Beanes go. The commander agreed, but said they must remain aboard until morning.
Francis Scott Key did not sleep that night as the British guns pounded Ft. McHenry. From the deck of the warship he could see the flash of guns firing away. Could the Americans hold out? During the night, Francis Scott Key asked himself that question many times.
The night gave way to dawn. Key peered through the haze and smoke. When the air cleared, he saw the stars and stripes were still there. The British had failed to capture Ft. McHenry. (Click the mouse twice.)
Key wrote down his experience in a poem. It was later set to music and is now known as our “Star-Spangled Banner.”
O say can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming? (defensive barrier) And the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? http://sn005.k12.sd.us/star_spangled_banner.wav http://sn005.k12.sd.us/star_spangled_banner.wav