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Star Spangled Banner

21 September 1814  "Star Spangled Banner" is published as a poem the day
after it was written.
 (The Defense of Fort McHenry  -  20 September , 1814)
By Francis Scott Key

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, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
>From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

During the  campaign against Washington, D.C.,  Dr. William Beanes was
arrested for unfriendly acts toward the British soldiers.

Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of  Beanes was sent by President
James Madison to obtain his release. Following negotiations, the British
agreed to release Beanes. After attacking  Baltimore, Maryland.  No one to
go ashore until after the attack.

The main defense of Baltimore harbour was Fort McHenry. For 25 hours the
fleet fired rockets and bombs at the fort.

The fort's defenders bravely withstood the bombardment and did not

Key was down river and while watching wrote the poem that tells the story of
the battle.  Key wrote the poem  is sung to an old English tune 'To Anacreon
in Heaven.'

It became  the American  National Anthem in 1931.


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