Ole Larson's Folks

No close family anniversaries. In Baltimore, Maryland, on this date in 1814, the first documented performance took place of “Defense of Fort McHenry,” a poem by Francis Scott Key, set to a popular British-American tune. The combination, later known as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” quickly became a popular patriotic song, was recognized for official use by 1889, and finally as our national anthem in 1931. Top photo: bombardment of Fort McHenry, seen from a nearby observatory. Below: Francis Scott Key’s moment of inspiration, painted by Edward Moran (1912).


18 October
20 October