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.

Mr. Key's Questions

Sep 15, 2014
Sam Manas / WYPR

As we all know, the first line of the first stanza of Francis Scott Key’s poem, the Defense of Ft. McHenry, talks about the “dawn’s early light.” So, why did the folks at Fort McHenry wait till 9 a.m. Sunday to raise that giant replica of the 1814 flag that inspired Key and say it was going up at the very moment 200 years later that Key saw the flag?

Joshua Barney

Aug 20, 2014

Barney and his Chesapeake fleet battle British forces.  

Joel McCord / WYPR

There will be tall ships and gray ships, skipjacks and schooners in Baltimore’s harbor in September for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the national anthem.

Joel McCord / WYPR

The Baltimore Ravens open their preseason campaign at M&T Bank Stadium Thursday with a new inside linebacker, a new nose tackle and a new singer to deliver the national anthem, Baltimore native Joey Odoms.

"The Chausseur"

Aug 1, 2014

Privateer Thomas Boyle captains the The Chausseur, the clipper that would eventually become The Pride of Baltimore.

No doubt crickets chirped and birds warbled in Maryland fields in August 1814, but underneath the lazy sounds of deep summer there was tension and confusion. The British had opened a new front in the war that started in 1812: predatory raids around the Chesapeake region to disrupt commerce and create alarm among the people.

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England

When Rear-Admiral George Cockburn of the Royal Navy arrived in the Chesapeake in the spring of 1813, he was a naval hero of sterling reputation and a household name in Britain.

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