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St. Jude Radiothon 2024

Written by Francis Scott Key, the Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States of America.  On National Anthem Day, we celebrate and honor this song.

The story behind the Star Spangled Banner is as moving as the anthem itself. While an attorney, Key was serving in the Georgetown Light Field Artillery during the War of 1812. In 1814 his negotiation skills as a lawyer were called upon to release Dr. William Beane who was a prisoner on the British naval ship, Tonnant. Early in September Key traveled to Baltimore in the company of Colonel John Skinner to begin negotiations.

Key and Skinner secured Beane’s release but since the British navy had begun attacking Baltimore, the trio had to wait at sea to return to Georgetown.

Fort McHenry is built on a peninsula of the Patapsco River and the city of Baltimore is just across the Northwest Branch. In 1814, the population of Baltimore was roughly 50,000 people, hardly the metropolis it is today. The country itself was still young and often families of soldiers lived nearby and provided support to their soldiers.

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