Fort McHenry & The Star Spangled Banner

The visit to Fort McHenry was almost two separate tales.  First is the tale of Francis Scott Key and the Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem.  The second is of the battle and life at Fort McHenry.

How many of you know who wrote the National Anthem, when it was written,  why it was written and where exactly it was written?  I knew the where (sort of) and some of the why but I seem to have a hard time remembering that pesky little War of 1812.

Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner from amongst the British Fleet.  He had sailed out to negotiate prisoner releases and was detained aboard one of the British ships for the duration of the battle.

Our first stop was the video room, where we watched about Francis Scott Key and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.

The actual flag flying at Fort McHenry- Did you know there is a flag that is specific to Fort McHenry?  Do you know why it's special?  Do you know who made that special flag?  (Frank, as you sent us here you'd better know the answer!)

Cannon, Cannon Balls & more Guns

The door to the Ravelin gunpowder storage room.
The arched doorway leading into the barracks area and courtyard of the Fort.

They were assigned four to a bunk.  Although they were smaller than us, I still hope they didn't all sleep in it at one time.

The original Cross Brace that held the flag pole that the Fort McHenry Flag was flown from.

More gun powder storage -

It looks like that cannon is aimed towards that building... Funnily enough, I think someone told us that these guns were put in place sometime after the war and they never saw battle.

Fort McHenry was an active military base long past the War of 1812.  It was used as a Prison site during the Civil War.  It was used as a hospital during WWI.  It was a United States Coast Guard Station during WWII.  Fort McHenry was turned over to the National Park service in 1925.  Fourteen years later it was redesigned as a National Monument and Historic Shrine.  How many of NPS parks have this designation?

Here is the National Park Service link to Fort McHenry  -


The complete version of the Star Spangled Banner

Did you know that the verse we sing, the first one, the is actually a question.  Take a look when you click on the link above...


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