September 13:


September 13: “The Defence of Fort McHenry”

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key penned a poem which was later set to music and in 1931 became our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.

Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak.

Today, the flag that flew over Fort McHenry is housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.