“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Star-Spangled Salute…

Posted on January 8, 2014 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   The original handwritten manuscript of The Star-Spangled Banner and the flag that inspired the song’s lyrics will be displayed together at the Smithsonian in Washington, the first time the historic pieces are believed to have been shown side-by-side. The manuscript is on display at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, and the flag has been at the Smithsonian since the early 1900s. They will be together from Flag Day, June 14th, through July 6th. The three-week exhibition starts celebrations, marking 200 years since the song was written on September 14th, 1814.

Francis_Scott_Key<— Francis Scott Key was a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet when he wrote the song’s words during the War of 1812. Key watched as the British bombarded Baltimore’s Fort McHenry for more than 24 hours. When he saw the fort’s flag flying on the morning after the bombardment, a signal that US troops had withstood the enemy, he was inspired to write a poem originally called Defense of Fort McHenry. It was set to music and later renamed, becoming the country’s national anthem in 1931. Key’s original manuscript, written with quill and ink, has a surprise for viewers who know the song. His poem is actually four stanzas, though the first stanza is the only one that’s traditionally sung.

   800px-Ft__Henry_bombardement_1814

   Folks may be more familiar with the flag, as millions visit each year to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The flag has been at Smithsonian for more than a century after being given to the institution by the family of Major George Armistead. He was the commander of Fort McHenry and the man who commissioned the banner with 15 stripes and stars, representing the number of states in the Union at the time. Except for a period during World War II, when it was housed in Virginia for safekeeping, the flag hasn’t traveled outside of Washington since coming to the Smithsonian.

The_Star-Spangled_Banner_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_21566   451px-Star_Spangled_Banner_Flag_on_display_at_the_Smithsonian's_National_Museum_of_History_and_Technology,_around_1964

   Key’s manuscript has traveled slightly more often since being purchased for the historical society in the 1950s. In 2011, it was taken by armored vehicle, with a police escort, to the state’s capital in Annapolis and to Fort McHenry. And in 2013, the museum brought it to Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland., where Key is buried.

   Oh say can you see… It will be a worthwhile visit!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 2:38 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


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