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National Anthem of the United States of America

National Anthem of the United States of America

The national anthem of the USA is "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Originally written as a poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" details the events of the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in September of 1814. Francis Scott Key, an American negotiator sent by President James Madison to negotiate the exchange of prisoners during the war of 1812, was detained on a British ship while the city of Baltimore was attacked. Upon seeing the flag in the morning, which signaled an American victory, he wrote a poem titled "Defence of Fort M'Henry" on the back of an letter.

Set to the tune of a popular British drinking song of the time, "The Anareontic Song," the song quickly became popular, and was performed publicly in October of the same year.

In 1931, after 155 years without an official national anthem, President Herbert Hoover signed a bill making "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national song of the USA.


While the offical anthem holds four stanzas, only the first is performed on most occasions.

Lyrics

Fort McHenry, Inspiration for the US National Anthem

Image via: aqua.org

O 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?

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