On September 13, 1814, British warships began a 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry, heralding the start of what became the Battle of Baltimore. In anticipation of the British attach, the fort's commander commissioned Baltimore flag-maker Mary Pickersgill to sew a flag "so large that the British will have no difficulty seeing it from a distance." From a truce ship nearby, attorney Francis Scott Key witnessed the naval attack. When Key saw the flag emerge intact on the morning of September 14th, he was so moved that he begin to compose new lyrics to a popular and familiar tune. Initially titled, "The Defense of Fort McHenry," Key's words quickly caught on and gained national status as "The Star Spangled Banner."
Anthem explores the history of The Star Spangled Banner and the Music of the War of 1812 in Three Acts and a Epilogue. Act one highlights the role of music in American and English life and how songs were used not only for entertainment, but also for storytelling, inspiration and politics. Act Two takes an in-depth look at the music scene in American and English Society and common life at the time of the War of 1812. Act Three presents an overview of the War of 1812 and the events that became songs. The Epilogue offers an explanation of how The Star Spangled Banner captured the hearts of the American Public and quickly grew in popularity as a patriotic song. The film finally moves to the early 20th Century following efforts on Capitol Hill to make the song our national anthem.
Download Videos and Images
To download materials: Right click the links and select "Save Target As" for Internet Explorer or "Save Link As" for Firefox.