Birthplace Of National Anthem Prepares For Bicentennial | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Birthplace Of National Anthem Prepares For Bicentennial

Play associated audio
Burt Kummerow is the president of the Maryland Historical Society, which now holds what historians believe is  the original version of lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner.
Cathy Duchamp
Burt Kummerow is the president of the Maryland Historical Society, which now holds what historians believe is the original version of lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner.

Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem in Baltimore in 1814, based on a battle he witnessed between American and British troops. The original song now on display at the Maryland Historical Society.

It's a little piece of paper, and the lyrics are pretty easy to read: "Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light..." Key penned the words at a tavern almost 200 years ago.

"It is one of our foundations of our national spirit, our national understanding of ourselves," says the historical society's director, Burt Kummerow. "You can't possibly go through a childhood without hearing this song over and over again. And here it is, this is the moment when it was created."

Kummerow wants to take the document on the road for the bicentennial.

"It would be wonderful to put this together for a special exhibit with the Star-Spangled Banner itself, the flag, down at the Smithsonian," he says.

Buzz over the National Anthem appears to be growing. An early edition of Star-Spangled Banner sheet music sold at auction on Friday for $500,000.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Aug. 27

An artist jabs at comforting notions of home and playwrights present new work at a local venue.

NPR

Science Crowns Mozzarella The King Of Pizza Cheese

Why do some cheeses melt and caramelize better than others? Researchers used high-tech cameras and special software to figure it out.
NPR

After Inspector General Report, Veterans Want More Than Promises

The report said it couldn't be proven that anyone had died because of wait times at the medical center in Phoenix. On Tuesday, President Obama pledged to do better by vets and announced initiatives.
NPR

Science Crowns Mozzarella The King Of Pizza Cheese

Why do some cheeses melt and caramelize better than others? Researchers used high-tech cameras and special software to figure it out.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.