Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” was inspired by Fort McHenry’s victorious defense of Baltimore during the Battle of Baltimore. From history buffs and environment lovers to those looking for a fun activity to do, here are three reasons why you should plan on visiting this historic location.
- IT’S THE BIRTHPLACE OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM
After a British attack on Baltimore in 1812, Fort McHenry was put through its paces as the first fort to be commissioned by the United States government. Although the young fort was bombarded for days by British forces, the enemy was unable to approach. To commemorate the triumph, amateur poet Francis Scott Key penned “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” In time, it was made into a song and adopted as our country’s anthem by the American people.
Indulge yourself in re-enactments, flag-talking rangers and the chance to raise a copy of the original Star-Spangled Banner.
Fort McHenry has a lot of interesting tidbits to share:
.Whenever a new flag is designed for use by the United States, it is first flown over Fort McHenry, over the same ramparts referred to in our National Anthem.
.This was the largest garrison flag ever flown, with a height of 30 feet and a width of 42 feet, so the British could not have missed it.
- IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO STRETCH YOUR LEGS
The grounds surrounding Fort McHenry, which is part of a National Park, are free and open to the public. Walking, running, or biking around the fort’s perimeter and along the water’s edge provides stunning vistas while you work out. You and your family can also enjoy some time together playing games and having a picnic.
- IT’S A FUN SPOT FOR EVENTS
There’s always something going on at Fort McHenry to make history come alive for tourists. Every weekend throughout the spring and summer months, there are historical reenactments. Children learn about the fort’s history through activities including a fife and drum camp and a junior ranger day.
Fort McHenry commemorates the Battle of Baltimore’s victory on Defenders Day every September. Enjoy a weekend filled with parades, historical reenactments, live music, and a spectacular fireworks display.
When Baltimore hosts Fleet Week every two years, Fort McHenry is a great place to watch the aviation show. Observe from the grass with a blanket or chair.