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Our national anthem has 4 verses.

O say, can you sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” all the way through? If so, patriot points for you! Even though the song has four verses, most of us only sing the first. The unsung stanzas elaborate on a battle scene that Francis Scott Key witnessed 200 years ago this month: the defense of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry against the British in the War of 1812 (which actually lasted until 1815). Key, an attorney and amateur poet, penned the ballad after watching U.S. soldiers defiantly raising a 30-by-42-foot flag over the fort the morning after. Baltimore commemorates the bicentennial with the Star-Spangled Spectacular, September 10–16. Among the planned festivities: a special exhibit at the Fort McHenry visitor center featuring Key’s earliest known manuscript. 


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