Gentlemen and ladies, please remove your hats for the singing of our national anthem.
We sing it at the beginning of sporting events, during worship services, at memorials for veterans, and in grade school music class. The first verse of this song gets all the fame, oftentimes springing from the throats of our most talented singers who are chosen to step up to a mic and belt the tune. The rest of us stand and face the flag while mumbling the familiar words, bursting in applause as soon as the singer draws out “hooooome of the braaaaaaaave.”
The Star-Spangled Banner, words penned by Francis Scott Key, has become synonymous with patriotism. The poem was written in 1814 and was put to the tune of a British drinking song by John Stafford Smith. By President Herbert Hoover’s signature, it became officially recognized as the United State’s national anthem on March 3, 1931. In 2009, nationalism has certainly changed if not dwindled in the U.S.A., but, for many of us, The Star-Spangled Banner will always hold a special spot in our hearts, if only for it signaling the start of a baseball game in the middle of the summer.
Here are some recommended items on Internet Archive focused on the national song: