With Box and Certificate of Authenticity. On the morning of September 14, 1814, Francis Scot Key saw a 42-foot by 30-foot American flag flying over Fort McHenry through clearing smoke caused by a 25-hour British bombardment of Fort McHenry. He was so inspired by the sight that he wrote a verse he called “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” By 1916, these words, sung to the tune of the British melody “To Anacreon in Heaven,” had become so widely popular that they were renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and President Woodrow Wilson ordered they be played at military and naval ceremonies. On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a resolution passed by Congress that officially designated “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem of the United States.
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