National Anthem Day – March 3rd
Today, March 3rd is National Anthem Day.
Our National Anthem is The Star Spangled Banner. The lyrics were written by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814, during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. It was originally called “Defence of Fort McHenry”. There were many patriotic songs, and The Star Spangled Banner became another one of them, one that struck at the heart of Americans, and gained popularity over the years. But, for a long time, America did not have an official national anthem.
It wasn’t until over 100 years later, that The Star Spangled Banner became our national anthem. On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution officially making “The Star Spangled Banner” the national anthem of the United States of America, which is why National Anthem Day is every March 3rd, in celebration of the day that congress made the Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem.
A misconception by many is that the Star Spangled Banner was written during the Revolutionary War. It was actually written during the war of 1812 (1812-1814).
In August 1814, the British army detained Dr. William Beanes as a prisoner of war. He was a friend of Francis Scott Key. On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key and a U.S. negotiator boarded a British vessel where Beanes was being held. He negotiated his friends’ release. But then, Francis Scott Key was detained that day along with the negotiator. They were held until after the attack on Fort McHenry, which guarded the harbor and city of Baltimore.
He watched the bombardment of the fort from the ship. The next morning, he was ecstatic to see that the American flag was still flying over Fort McHenry. This historic event inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” the following day (September 14, 1814).
On this special day, proudly fly the USA flag at your home and place of business. Take this as an opportunity to sing the National Anthem, or listen to it being sung. And, look for chances to show your patriotism.
How else can you celebrate? Teach your children our National Anthem (lyrics below). Explain to them why it is respectful to remove your hat when singing our National Anthem. Show them on YouTube (or at live events) how our National Anthem is played or sung before sporting events or when an Olympic champion earns a gold medal.
If you are hosting an Au Pair, ask them if they have a National Anthem of their own and if they can explain it’s history and significance.
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 rocket’s red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
For the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
By Kim Wunderlich-Cady