The United States needed a national anthem…. since the War of 1812, the de facto anthem had been “My Country, Tis of Thee” – or as it is better known, “God Save the Queen” – The British national anthem. The march entitled “Hail Columbia” also was considered our anthem for a short period. A brief history of the “Star Spangled Banner”
- September 13, 1814- Francis Scott Key witnesses the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor.
- September 17, 1814– Francis Scott Key’s poem, “The Defense of Fort McHenry” is first published in Baltimore, MD.
- October 19, 1814- Key’s poem is first performed in public to the tune of “Anacreon in Heaven” – the British melody Key had in mind as he penned the words
- 1861-1865- “Star Spangled Banner” becomes one of the most popular Union songs during the Civil War
- July 27, 1889- The US Navy orders the “Star Spangled Banner” to be played at all flag raising ceremonies
- 1897- “The Star Spangled Banner” is first performed at a professional baseball game
- July 4, 1915- Woodrow Wilson issues Executive Order for the “Banner” to be played at all government ceremonies
- January, 1931- John Phillip Sousa writes President Herbert Hoover endorsing the “Banner” as the national anthem
- March 3, 1931- Herbert Hoover signs a bill into law making the “Star Spangled Banner” the national anthem of the United States