National Anthem Day: 9 fascinating facts about ‘The Star Spangled Banner’


(NEWS10) — Oh say can you see, Tuesday, March 3 is National Anthem Day, commemorating the day in 1931 that President Herbert Hoover officially declared “The Star Spangled Banner” the National Anthem of the United States.

Many know the origin of “The Star Spangled Banner,” the poem written by Francis Scott Key from the deck of a ship during the Battle of Fort McHenry, but our National Anthem has a fascinating history from both before and after that famous night.

  • Francis Scott Key wrote the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” after witnessing the American victory at the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore on 9/14/1814
  • The song was originally named “The Defense of Fort McHenry”
  • The melody was taken from an old English drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heav’n
  • President Hoover declared “The Star Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the U.S. on March 3, 1931
  • The “Star Spangled Banner” was originally intended to be sung as a group number at a much faster tempo
  • “The Star Spangled Banner” made its first appearance at a sporting event at a baseball game in Brooklyn in 1862
  • It was also performed at the first World Series in 1903 in Boston
  • The actual flag described in the song remains on display at the Smithsonian National Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • The full “Star Spangled Banner” had four verses. A fifth was added to support the Union cause during the Civil War.


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