: 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.

NPR

A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

It was a simple idea: Would you, our listeners, tweet us poems for National Poetry Month? Your response contained multitudes — haiku, lyrics, even one 8-year-old's ode to her dad's bald spot.
WAMU 88.5

Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

WAMU 88.5

A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.

NPR

Bitcoin's Maker Revealed? Australian Man Says He Is 'Satoshi Nakamoto'

Craig Wright, 45, is an entrepreneur whose name has often been mentioned in conversations about Bitcoin's creator; in recent months, he was also investigated by tax authorities.

Leave a Comment

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