Star Spangled Banner Day celebration

The Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter of the National Society, United States Daughters of 1812 joins the N.S.U.S.D 1812 in taking great pride in the fact that the effort to make the “Star-Spangled Banner” the official National Anthem of the United States, began with the United States Daughters of 1812.

In 1918, Mrs. Reuben Ross Holloway, President of the Maryland State Society, led a campaign to make the “Star-Spangled Banner” the official National Anthem of the United States. It wasn’t until March 3, 1931 that President Herbert Hoover signed a bill into law designating “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the National Anthem of the United States of America.

Following the Burning of Washington on September 3, 1814, Francis Scott Key a young Washington attorney who, during the War of 1812, sailed with British Prisoner Exchange Agent, Colonel John Stuart Skinner, (flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison) to the British ship HMS Tonnant to negotiate the release of captured American prisoners.

Because Key and Skinner had become familiar with the strength and position of the British fleet, and because the British were ready to commence with the attack, they were detained by the British. Key witnessed from the ship the relentless 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry, which occurred on September 13, and into the early morning hours of September 14, 1814.

The Fort withstood the attack, and the sight of the American flag (a fifteen star and fifteen stripe flag made by Mary Young Pickersgill (which later became known as the Star-Spangled Banner) flying at dawn inspired Key’s poem, “Defence of Fort M’Henry” (McHenry), written on the way to shore that morning. After circulating as a handbill, the lyrics were published in a Baltimore newspaper on September 20, 1814. The poem was eventually set to the tune of a popular English song, “To Anacreon in Heaven.” Oh say, can you see that the rest is history?