The War of 1812: 200th Anniversary

War of 1812: 200th Anniversary

Let bygones be bygones as Maryland celebrates the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Baltimore played a "Key" role while defending its port from the British, for in the midst of battle, our national anthem was born.

Programs, Events and Resources
Star-Spangled Spectacular Concert at Pier Six Pavilion
Saturday, September 13 at 8pm

Actor John Lithgow to host two-hour live broadcast featuring performances from music stars Kristin Chenoweth, Little Big Town, Pentatonix and more to be announced.

spectacular_rightrail.jpg Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem, a concert special honoring the 200th anniversary of our national anthem, will be held at Pier Six Concert Pavilion on September 13 at 8pm. The event will be broadcast LIVE on MPT as part of THIRTEEN's Great Performances series on PBS, and is produced by Maryland Public Television, dick clark productions and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET with assistance from the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Star-Spangled 200, Inc.

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Star-Spangled Spectacular Week
September 10-16 • Baltimore, Maryland

Star-Spangled 200

O Say Can You See! Star-Spangled Spectacular is a free festival that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem. Tall ships, Navy gray hulls and the Blue Angels will come to Baltimore's famed Inner Harbor to celebrate The Star-Spangled Banner.

Landside festivals include living history demonstrations, a family fun zone, live musical performances, and Chesapeake food and beverage.

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F.S. Key and the Song That Built America
Airing on MPT: September 11 at 8pm

Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key, the composer of America's national anthem, is an individual who possesses an instantly recognizable name but a little-known personal story.

This dramatized bio-film will follow the story of Key's life, from a meeting with his childhood-hero George Washington at fifteen to the Battle of Baltimore in 1814, when he wrote the poem that would become the Star-Spangled Banner.


Educators' resource website

MPT has produced an extensive educators' website about The War of 1812: The War of 1812: Classroom Resources. This fun and interactive website provides teachers with primary source documents, biographical snapshots, historic images and an interactive map that relates the major events of the war.

Educators website


Community Outreach
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

The National Park Service has officially launched the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and invites visitors to explore the many sites within the nine regions along the trail.

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail


"The launch of the Star Spangled Banner Trail is a key part of our nation's bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812," said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. "It will provide Marylanders and visitors with a way to access and appreciate the sites engaged in our nation's Second War of Independence. Highlighted by kiosks, wayside signs, and highway markers, the trail will offer a unique combination of land and water-based sites and give visitors a unique understanding of Maryland's role in the war that helped shaped our nation."

"The trail connects the multitude of sites significant to our national heritage," said Bill Pencek, Executive Director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. "The trail is also a vital economic resource, attracting the "touring traveler" who spends more, takes longer trips, and travels with more people than typical visitors to Maryland."

New services and materials to help visitors explore the trail include:

  • the trail's history and travel pocket guide
  • interpretive kiosks at 25 trail locations
  • highway markers on Maryland roads
  • the trail's Junior Ranger program
  • new mobile application and website
  • the Virtual Resource Center for educators
  • illustrated history and travel guide In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake, a collaboration of the National Park Service, the Maryland Historical Trust, the Maryland Historical Society, and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission

For more information about how to experience the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, please visit