STAR SPANGLED BANNER
“The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The
lyrics come from a poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, a then 35-year-old
amateur poet who wrote “Defense of Fort McHenry” after seeing the bombardment of
Fort McHenry at Baltimore, Maryland, by Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during
the War of 1812. The “Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the
Navy in 1889 and the President in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a
congressional resolution on March 3, 1931,which was signed by President Herbert
Hoover. Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. Most
prominent among them was “Hail, Columbia,” which served as the de facto national
anthem from Washington‘s time and through the 18th and 19th centuries. Following the
War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs would emerge to compete for
popularity at public events, among them “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that Star – Spangled Banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?