FRANCIS SCOTT KEY WROTE THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER 202 YEARS AGO
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Our National Anthem has certainly been the subject of much controversy in recent days as a few professional football players have expressed protest against the government of the United States by refusing to stand during its playing.
The Anthem has not been without controversy in its long history. Some have said it is a song about war while others say the music is too difficult to sing.
The words of the Anthem were originally penned by Francis Scott Key 202 years ago today, on September 14, 1814, during the British attack on Fort McHenry near Baltimore, Maryland.
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".
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 Herbert Hoover signed the law making it so in 1931.
"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/
Francis Scott Key Park