Francis Scott Key writes a poem that is eventually put to music and becomes America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," on September 14, 1814. The poem, originally titled "The Defense of Fort M'Henry," was written after Key watched the British bombardment of the Maryland fort during the War of 1812. In his poem, he described the scene as if it were happening at another time, which critics have interpreted as an attempt to sell the poem to the government as a song rather than a poem.
Key had only $25 in his pocket when he wrote the poem, but it became so popular that Congress approved additional funds for him. Today, an estimated one billion people have heard the Star-Spangled Banner sung at some point in their lives.
The poem makes reference to many stars falling from the sky during the battle scenes that took place over 100 years ago. In fact, there are several references in the poem to stars being out past sunset, something that doesn't happen anymore today. But although the poem may have been inspired by real events, it isn't exactly true to life. For example, Francis Scott Key was not at Fort McHenry when it was attacked by the British; he was watching the attack from a nearby house where he kept a watch on the action through a telescope. Also, despite what the poem says, the Americans did not burn Washington DC down to the ground after they lost the war. Instead, they went to Canada like George Washington ordered them to do.
Francis Scott Key wrote the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" on September 14, 1814, after watching the enormous nighttime British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. The song is based on a poem he also wrote about the battle.
Key had been hired as a clerk by the secretary of the Navy to help write a report on the attack for his employer. He went to Baltimore to give the report at a hotel where the American minister to Russia was staying. There he met other Americans who had arrived without tickets for the performance of a local theater company. They told Key that they were there for the big show: an evening with a hundred guns being fired in their honor. Inspired by what he saw, Key wrote some poems about the battle and the following day gave a private performance of one of them at a social gathering held at his boss's house. It was well received and it is believed that is when he first sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."
After the war ended, Key petitioned Congress to have the song adopted as our national anthem. The request was granted on March 3, 1931.
Based on its use before sporting events, an old joke goes that the second stanza of the "Star Spangled Banner" is the chief umpire's call: "Play Ball!" The real flag in the poem has survived, and it is rather huge even now.
On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key writes a poem that is subsequently adapted to music and becomes "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1931. The poem, originally titled "The Defence of Fort McHenry," was written after Key watched the British bombardment of the Maryland fort during the War of 1812.
After being delighted that the United States had escaped British assault, Francis Scott Key penned the "Star-Spangled Banner" as a joyful poem. Since then, it has grown into the United States' national anthem, and it is played at official occasions, schools, and athletic events. The song is based on a British drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven," and its lyrics were set to the music of a popular Baltimore folk song called "Mary's Boy."
Key was a slave owner who lived in Maryland. In 1814, he wrote the "Star-Spangled Banner" after the war with Britain ended. The song became very popular throughout the United States.
Francis Scott Key received no compensation for his work. But many musicians have made money by singing the song at events such as baseball games and parades.
The Battle of Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to create "The Star-Spangled Banner" on September 14, 1814. Mark Clague of the University of Michigan debunks some widespread fallacies concerning our national anthem. The mission of Key was a success. His poem soon after the battle became popular throughout the country.
Key had no idea that it would one day become the national anthem until many years later when its popularity began to rise following the war. At that time, President James Madison asked him for a copy of the poem for use at military ceremonies. Impressed by what he read, Madison ordered that the song be played at official functions of the government. Today, it is known as "America's National Anthem."
Some sources claim that the poem was inspired by an incident involving the firing of cannon at Fort McHenry during the battle. However, this is incorrect. The first two lines of the poem actually come from Key's original title page, which reads: "My name is F. Scott Key. I am an American." There was no attempt by Key to connect these events in his life with the creation of the poem. He simply wrote about what he knew best - American history - and hoped others would find it interesting enough to want to read more about.
There are several other songs that were considered by Congress for the role of our national anthem.
Of fact, the national anthem originated as a poem penned in September 1814 by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the British attack of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. (which ran until early 1815). The poem was set to music written by John Stafford Smith and performed on an instrument called a "fipple-flute" which looks like a miniature version of a recorder.
Key's poem was adopted as the official national anthem upon the formation of the federal government in 1789. A new statute was passed by Congress on March 3, 1931, which included instructions for the president to proclaim a national anthem. President Hoover issued this proclamation on March 3, 1931.
The current version of the anthem was established in 1952 when Congress passed a law requiring that it be played before all major league baseball games. The previous anthem, "To America", was used between 1889 and 1951. It was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with music by Charles Frederick Walcott.
The original text of "The Star-Spangled Banner" can be found here: http://www.bartleby.com/117/3169.html. The song is also part of the collection titled 100 Favorite American Songs published in 1904.