HOOVER MADE NATIONAL ANTHEM OFFICIAL 85 YEARS AGO
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Eighty-five years ago today, March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a law making the Star Spangled Banner the official National Anthem of the United States of America.
The words of the song were originally penned by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814 during the British attack on Fort McHenry near Baltimore, Maryland.
The Fort McHenry Flag, 30 by 42 feet, was made by Mary Young Pickersgill of Baltimore. She used 400 yards of wool and each of the 15 stars measured 2 feet from point to point. The cost of the giant banner was $405.90.
Key was detained on a British truce ship far out in the harbor when he was inspired to write "In Defense of Ft. McHenry" on the back of a letter. The lyrics were published in Baltimore on September 20, and later set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven". A Baltimore actor was the first to sing the tune in October 1814.
President Woodrow Wilson signed an Executive Order in 1916 which directed the song be played at military and naval occasions. The Star Spangled Banner did not become Our National Anthem, however, until President Hoover signed the law in 1931.
Calvin Lawrence, Jr. of ABC NEWS writes...
"President Herbert Hoover likely had no clue what havoc he would wreak...(as) over the years, (the Star Spangled Banner) has been butchered (many, many times)."
"Eighty-five years of Mangling the 'Star-Spangled Banner as Our National Anthem," by Calvin Lawrence, Jr., ABC News, March 3, 2016, www.abcnewws.go.com/
"Facts About the U.S. 'National Anthem'", US Department of Education, www2.ed.gov/