Rockets' Red Glare: the War, the Song, and their Legacies

More than 700,000 people every year visit Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the site that inspired our national anthem.  In this series, WYPR tells stories of the War of 1812: the people, the places, and the song.

Rockets' Red Glare is made possible by a grant from Star-Spangled 200 a national bicentennial in Maryland.

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War of 1812
6:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

1812 Privateer Remembered at Laurel Festival

Venus Theatre owner Deb Randall acts out and talks about Barney's life as commander of a fleet of cannon-equipped barges during the War of 1812. He was a major thorn in the side of the British Navy throughout the war.
Credit Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

1812 Privateer Remembered at Laurel Festival

Commander Joshua Barney made life miserable for the British Navy on the Chesapeake during the War of 1812, harassing the invaders from shallow draft barges, then retreating to shoal waters where the larger ships couldn’t pursue him.

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War of 1812
6:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

More Than A Flag

Hundreds have visited the Maryland Historical Society to add a stitch to a replica of Mary Pickersgill's 30 by 42 foot flag, finished in 1813.
Credit Fraser Smith / WYPR

More Than A Flag

The war of 1812 may be forgotten by many Americans – but not by Marylanders who now have even more reasons to celebrate its 200th anniversary. The reasons are there in three famous names: Francis Scott Key. Ft. McHenry and Mary Pickersgill.

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War of 1812
11:49 am
Fri August 9, 2013

How More Than 700 Maryland Slaves Escaped During The War of 1812

A slave cabin, built in the 1830s, and the main house on the grounds of Sotterley Plantation in St. Mary's County.
Zach Quinn WYPR

How More Than 700 Maryland Slaves Escaped During The War of 1812

In Maryland, the War of 1812’s dominant image is of Francis Scott Key writing down lyrics as bombs burst over Baltimore Harbor. A less-remembered image is that of slave families fleeing plantations for British ships in the middle of the night. Clearly, for Maryland slaves, the War of 1812 was not “America’s second war of independence.” They waited another 50 years before the state constitution abolished slavery.

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