Celebrate National Anthem Day
We may see the United States’ National Anthem as a staple, but if you don’t know about the history of the song, read this week’s Liv Avenida Blog for some highlights! March 3rd is National Anthem Day, so keep the song alive in your heart this week by listening to some renditions and learning about how it came to be.
A good starting point to learn about the history of this country’s anthem is to learn the significance of the day. Many people assume that March 3rd is the day the song was written, but it’s actually the day (in 1931) President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution officially making “The Star Spangled Banner” the national anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the song during the Battle of Bladensburg in the War of 1812 on September 10th, more than a century before it became the country’s anthem.
Key wrote the lyrics actually intending it to be a song, although he was an amateur poet and not a songwriter. He wanted the words to be sung to a popular English song composed in 1775 called “To Anacreon in Heaven.” Key was a lawyer based in Washington, D.C., and President James Madison had him go to Baltimore to negotiate for the release of a surgeon who was captured during the Battle of Bladensburg. So he and a fellow lawyer boarded a ship and secured the prisoner’s release, under the condition that they couldn’t go ashore until the British attacked Baltimore. After the battle, he gained the inspiration for the lyrics when he saw the flag waving over Fort McHenry at daybreak
If you want to listen to some great renditions of the song, listen to Whitney Houston singing it before Super Bowl XXV in 1991 in Tampa or Lady Gaga singing it before Super Bowl 50. Or just search YouTube. There are plenty performances of it that you could enjoy.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the National Anthem this week! Thanks for reading!