Definition #140 (Jeanne from Queens #12) A Poem Emerges

Jeanne's young gets a higher view (1975)

Jeanne’s young gets a higher view (1975)

The Star-Spangled Banner took from 1812 to 1931 to become our national anthem.

The lyrics come from a poem written by Francis Scott Key more than a century before, “Defence of Fort McHenry.” He’d spent a night toward the end of the War of 1812 hearing the British navy bombard Baltimore, Maryland. The bombardment lasted 25 hours — and in the dawn’s early light, Francis Scott Key emerged to see the U.S. flag still waving over Fort McHenry. He jotted the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” on the back of an envelope. Then he went to his hotel and made another copy, which was printed in the Baltimore American a week later.

The tune for the Star-Spangled Banner comes from an old British drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven,” which was very popular at men’s social clubs in London during the 1700s. Francis Scott Key himself did the pairing of the tune to his poem. It was a big hit.

For the next century, a few different anthems were used at official U.S. ceremonies, including “My Country Tis of Thee” and “Hail Columbia.” The U.S. Navy adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” for its officialdom in 1889, and the presidency did in 1916. But it wasn’t until this day in 1931 — just 80 years ago — that Congress passed a resolution and Hoover signed into law the decree that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the official national anthem of the United States of America.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eileen
    Mar 03, 2015 @ 10:33:43

    Loving all the pics with Q and Owen!

    Reply

  2. jeannepoland
    Mar 04, 2015 @ 09:21:23

    You’ll be seeing all of them at the Bday Party on Mar21! Assuming you’re staying at Q&M’s?

    Reply

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