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September 14, 2018

The Defense of Fort McHenry

Report of Lt. Col. George Armistead on the defense of Fort McHenry, September 24, 1814 (detail)
In this report, American Lt. Col. George Armistead described a bombardment that continued, largely unabated, for 25 hours. When Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer watching the battle from behind the British lines, saw that the American flag was still waving over Fort McHenry on the morning of September 14, he knew the fort’s defenders had prevailed. He was so moved by their heroism, he wrote a poem, whose words became our national anthem on March 3, 1931.

Read More at American Originals

Today’s Document from the National Archives

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