On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner. During the War of 1812, Key was on a British ship seeking to secure the exchange of American prisoners. While on the British ship, Key was present during the Battle of Baltimore and the naval bombardment of Fort McHenry. Unsure of the fate of the fort until the "dawn's early light," Key was inspired to write the poem that became the Star-Spangled Banner when he viewed the American flag still flying triumphantly over the fort. Key's lyrics, set to the tune of a popular melody at the time officially became the National Anthem of the United States of America in 1931. View the series of clips to learn more about the War of 1812, the inspiration for Key's poem and the legacy of the Star-Spangled Banner.
War of 1812