Before many sporting events, someone sings "The Star-Spangled Banner," our country's national anthem. Many people don't know the origin or history behind this song.
According to the History Channel, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act on March 3, 1931 to make "The Star-Spangled Banner" our national anthem.
The lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" were once taught in many schools; however, in recent years, many celebrities have made the news when they sang the national anthem incorrectly.
The lyrics to the song were written by Francis Scott Key on Sept. 14,1814, over 100 years before the song became our national anthem.
The first stanza of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is shared below. There are four stanzas, but many people only know the first, sung at many events. You can find all four stanzas at the USA Flag Site.
The Star-Spangled Banner
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 thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallently streaming?
And the rockets 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
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Key, who was an American lawyer, wrote the lyrics while detained on a British ship after watching a British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Md. during the War of 1812.
Key was amazed that the American flag flying over Fort McHenry survived the assault, which involved 1,800 bombs in an overnight attack.
The lyrics, which were later set to music, were published in a newspaper in Baltimore on Sept. 20, 1814. The song was considered our national anthem by branches of the armed services and other groups for many years.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order to formally designate "The Star-Spangled Banner" as our national anthem.
Congress acted on Wilson's order in 1931, thus allowing President Hoover to sign the act into law. National Anthem Day, March 3, is a great day to fly your American flag proudly.
By flying the flag and teaching your children "The Star-Spangled Banner," you teach your children patriotism and pride in our country.