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Oh Say, Can You See?

Last updated 4 years ago

"The Star-Spangled Banner" celebrates its 200th anniversary this year!

On Sept. 14, 1814, while watching the British attack on Baltimore during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key was so "inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry the morning after the bombardment, he scribbled the initial verse of [a poem] on the back of a letter."

On its way to becoming "The Star-Spangled Banner," the melody we know so well and struggle so hard to sing had many different lyrics. It was a rallying song in the French Revolution and other movements for social change. Only in 1931 did a melody, combined with Key's poem, become the national anthem for the United States. 

We hope you'll keep this in mind the next time you see something that stirs your emotions. You may be inspired to write words that move others!

Be sure to visit the statue of Francis Scott Key (pictured above) at the Music Concourse  the next time you visit Golden Gate Park, just a few blocks from The Literacy & Language Center.

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