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"The Rockets' Red Glare": Francis Scott Key and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry

Back in 1814, Francis Scott Key set down a poem that began "O say can you see...." Later this work became the Star Spangled Banner, and it is arguably the best-known part of the War of 1812. This installment of the Teaching With Historic Places Lesson Plans takes a close look at the circumstances at Fort McHenry surrounding the composition of this well-known number. Visitors will find that there...
The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem

Noting its "broad stripes and bright stars," Francis Scott Key turned the Star-Spangled Banner into the principle symbol of American patriotism with his poetic account of the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. This engaging site from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History accompanies an in situ exhibit celebrating the history and legacy of the flag behind the...