Francis Scott Key composes “The Star-Spangled Banner”

“By Dawn’s Early Light”, Edward Percy Moran, 1912, Maryland Historical Society, CA562

“In the wee hours of the morning on September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key sat under British guard aboard the HMS Tonnant and witnessed that, despite bombardment throughout the night’s battle, the flag at Fort McHenry was still flying. The British ships were retreating from the harbor, and it seemed that America had been victorious in the Battle of Baltimore. The sight inspired him to compose the poem, “The Defence of Fort McHenry”. It would later be set to music and renamed “The Star Spangled Banner”. On March 3, 1931, it became our national anthem.” Maryland Historical Society

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