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What you may not know about the Star Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key looking toward Ft. McHenry on the morning of September 14, 1812

Here’s a story you may not have heard about the Star Spangled Banner and a version of the song that will give you goosebumps!

On September 7, 1814, Francis Scott Key was sent on a mission to Baltimore to negotiate the release of a prominent American surgeon who was a prisoner of war aboard the British ship Tonnant.

He was successful, however, because the British were planning a massive attack on Ft. McHenry, they allowed Key and the doctor to return to their ship but not back to the harbor.

It was from his vantage point behind the British fleet on the night of September 13, 1812 that Key witnessed the bombardment on Ft. McHenry. “It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” he would later write.

The next morning Francis Scott Key was sure the British had won, as the smoke cleared “in the dawn’s early light, he witnessed a sight that inspired his famous poem. It was the American flag flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Watch now, as celebrated singer Sandi Patty delivers one of the most stirring renditions of our National Anthem that you will ever hear.

Happy birthday, America!