FRANCIS SCOTT KEY WROTE "THE DEFENCE OF FORT MCHENRY" 199 YEARS AGO TODAY
Baltimore, Maryland (JFK+50) A lawyer and amateur poet named Francis Scott Key* wrote a poem about the British attack on Fort McHenry 199 years ago today, September 13, 1814.
The title of the poem, written after Key witnessed the battle from a truce ship in Baltimore Harbor, is "The Defence of Fort McHenry".
Mr. Key was inspired by seeing a large Flag of the United States still flying over the fort "by the dawn's early light".
The poem was later set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith.
Key's poem would eventually become "The Star Spangled Banner" and in 1931 it was officially proclaimed "Our National Anthem".
*Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was born in Frederick County, Maryland. His father, John Ross Key, was an officer in the Continental Army.
Francis Scott Key studied law at St. John's College in Annapolis and became associated with both the American Bible Society and the American Colonization Society.
The Star Spangled Banner has four stanzas although it is only the first one that is usually sung.
Here is the fourth and final stanza...
"O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just
And this be our motto - "In God is our trust."
And the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."
GEORGE WALLACE DIED 15 YEARS AGO
Montgomery, Alabama (JFK+50) The former Governor of the State of Alabama, George C. Wallace, who once stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama to block admittance of the first African-American students to enroll there, died 15 years ago today, September 13, 1998, here in Montgomery at the age of 79.
In his inaugural in 1963, Governor Wallace declared "Segregation now. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever."
The Governor was forced to defer to President John F. Kennedy and the federalized National Guard and allow the state university to be integrated.
During his 3rd party campaign for President in 1972, Governor Wallace was shot and permanently paralyzed below the waist.
He retired in 1986 saying: "I've climbed my last political mountain."
George C. Wallace
Photo by Marion S. Trikosko
Library of Congress
DALLAS NEWSPAPERS REPORTED JFK WOULD VISIT TEXAS IN NOVEMBER 1963
Dallas, Texas (JFK+50) Newspapers here in Dallas published reports 50 years ago today, September 13, 1963, that President John F. Kennedy was planning a visit to Texas in November.
The assumption was made that the President was coming to Texas to solidify support for his upcoming re-election bid in 1964.
JFK ISSUED A MEMO ON EMPLOYMENT OF THE MENTALLY RETARDED 50 YEARS AGO TODAY!
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy issued a "Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies" on the topic of employment of the mentally retarded 50 years ago today, September 13, 1963.
In the memorandum, JFK wrote...
"On the basis of exploratory work which the Civil Service Commission has undertaken, it is issuing a 2 year special authority to make excepted appointments of mentally handicapped persons to Federal positions.
Use of this authority by Federal departments and agencies will greatly facilitate the development of standards and selection procedures for a continuing program which will make it possible for such persons to be fully utilized in appropriate positions in the Federal work force.
I have directed the Chairman of the Commission to report to me from time to time on the progress of their efforts and the consequences of agency experience."
"Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963," United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1964.