Item: The Star-Spangled Banner

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Record Number: 1097
Reproduction restrictions: None
Author: Francis Scott Key, 1779-1843
View Format: Manuscript
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Originally titled "The Defense of Fort McHenry," "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. The poem was later set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner." President Hoover signed a congressional resolution to officially designate it the National Anthem in 1931.

(1) is front of handwritten lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner." Note the different third line in the first stanza, which reads, "Whose bright stars and broad stripes, through the clouds of the fight." (2) is back of manuscript.