Home of The Star Spangled Banner

27Jul11

Click here to view interactive graphic.

The opening early this year of the new Visitor and Education Center at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, celebrated a coming home for Francis Scott Key in the birthplace of America’s national anthem. Key was the Maryland lawyer and amateur poet who penned “Defence of Fort McHenry,” a poem that would later be set to the melody of a song by British composer John Stafford Smith — and become “The Star Spangled Banner.” In his honor, a life-sized bronze statue of Key stands in the new visitor centre.

The anthem itself is celebrating its 80th year of designation as the national anthem by the U.S. Congress.

Fort McHenry, which was built between 1798 and 1802, is also the site of the 1814 Battle of Baltimore which occurred at the tip of Locust Point. The star-shaped bulwark, which was an integral part of the country’s defense against foreign invasion, was subjected to, and survived, the heavy shelling by a British fleet.

The original visitor center, which opened in 1964, could accommodate only 150,000 visitors a year. Deemed obsolete and undersized, it was demolished to make way for the new visitor center which is expected to taken in as many as more than a million visitors a year.

Interactive graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Photos courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

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Also in this blog
The war in Afghanistan
B-Baker’s last bombing mission
Not a time for dictators
Recalling the Nimrod air crash in Lake Ontario
The world’s richest oil deposit

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