Whenever you hear the National Anthem of the United States of America, you’re listening to a poem about Baltimore.
The rockets red glare. The bombs bursting in air. These words, penned by Francis Scott Key, recall a moment in the War of 1812 that saw Fort McHenry fend off an attack from the British that could have spelt doom for America. And that’s not hyperbole: just one month earlier the British captured Washington DC and burned down the White House.
On September 13th, 1814 the British set their sights on Baltimore, bombarding Fort McHenry for 25 straight hours. Although heavily outnumbered, Baltimore stood strong. When the fog of war cleared the “broad stripes and bright stars” of the American Flag continued waving proudly over the fort.
Today, Fort McHenry is a National Monument and Historic Shrine that provides an eye-opening glimpse into our country’s history, with a waterfront walking path that provide panoramic views of the Patapsco River.