Coast Guard sets Star-Spangled Buoy

Published on July 2nd, 2020

This specially designed star-spangled buoy marks the approximate location where Francis Scott Key wrote the country’s National Anthem. Removed just before winter, this is the 40th year the Coast Guard has set the buoy in Patapsco River, a 39-mile-long waterway in central Maryland which flows into the Chesapeake Bay.

The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.

The poem was printed in newspapers and eventually set to the music of a popular English drinking tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” by composer John Stafford Smith. People began referring to the song as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson announced that it should be played at all official events. It was adopted as the national anthem on March 3, 1931.

Video uploaded June 15, 2020.

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