Star Spangled Banner: The Flag That Inspired the National Anthem by Lonn TaylorThe very flag that Francis Scott Key saw still flying over Fort McHenry in 1814, inspiring him to write the poem that became the national anthem of the United States, is on display at the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In this splendid history, Lonn Taylor recounts the story of the Star-Spangled Banner and describes the restoration project now underway to ensure the continued preservation of this honored symbol of American patriotism.With the restoration project continuing to enjoy media attention as a featured part of Hillary Rodham Clintons campaign to save Americas treasures, this celebration of the beloved flag -- and the feelings of pride it stirs in the hearts of Americans -- will be a valued souvenir and memento of our national heritage.
Behind the lyrics of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'
But how much do you really know about our national anthem? The stanzas recount the Battle of Baltimore, a days-long siege between British and American forces. Mark Clague is an associate professor of musicology and American culture at the University of Michigan and a co-founder of the Star Spangled Music Foundation. Marc Leepson is an American journalist and historian who has written several books, including a biography of Francis Scott Key. Alan Taylor is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who specializes in the American colonial revolution and early republic. Design and development by India Hayes and Curt Merrill.
The War Of was in its final months when lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key born 1 August boarded a British ship to negotiate the release of several American prisoners. While there, he became privy to strategic battle plans and was held captive for the night, where he helplessly witnessed the Battle Of Baltimore. Performed regularly at sports games and ceremonial events, a handful of singers and musicians have the chance to perform the song live each year, as audiences listen with bated breath. Naturally, the song climaxes with classic KISS pyrotechnics which make every show look like the 4 July celebrations. As the Georgia native geared up to cheer on his home team — the Atlanta Falcons, who were up against the New England Patriots — the American Idol judge and acclaimed songwriter sounded as smooth as can be, singing a cappella and making the song his own with a bit of country twang. Even Tom Brady seemed impressed!
Key was inspired by the large U. 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. With a range of 19 semitones, it is known for being very difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas , only the first is commonly sung today. President Woodrow Wilson in , and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 46 Stat. Before , other songs served as the hymns of U.
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, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' 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? On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?