March 3, 1931: "The Star-Spangle Banner" Became The Official National Anthem

11:40 AM, Mar 3, 2013   |    comments
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Today, we celebrate 82 years of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as our nation's national anthem.

In 1812, lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote lyrics while watching British troops bombard Fort McHenry. Key was inspired by the way the fort's flag survived the 1,800-bomb assault. He wrote the lyrics based on what he saw while being detained on a British ship.

Until that point, the U.S. did not have a national anthem.

The song, which had its words set to the tune of 'To Anacreon in Heaven,' was seen as the national anthem throughout the 19th century, but was not officially recognized until 1916, thanks to an executive order from President Woodrow Wilson.

After Congress passed an act to recognize the song as the nation's anthem in 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed the bill into law on March 3, 1931.


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