Home of the Brave

Gentlemen and ladies, please remove your hats for the singing of our national anthem.

We sing it at the beginning of sporting events, during worship services, at memorials for veterans, and in grade school music class. The first verse of this song gets all the fame, oftentimes springing from the throats of our most talented singers who are chosen to step up to a mic and belt the tune. The rest of us stand and face the flag while mumbling the familiar words, bursting in applause as soon as the singer draws out “hooooome of the braaaaaaaave.”

The Star-Spangled Banner, words penned by Francis Scott Key, has become synonymous with patriotism. The poem was written in 1814 and was put to the tune of a British drinking song by John Stafford Smith. By President Herbert Hoover’s signature, it became officially recognized as the United State’s national anthem on March 3, 1931. In 2009, nationalism has certainly changed if not dwindled in the U.S.A., but, for many of us, The Star-Spangled Banner will always hold a special spot in our hearts, if only for it signaling the start of a baseball game in the middle of the summer.

Here are some recommended items on Internet Archive focused on the national song:


  • An oral history of Francis Scott Key followed by the song
  • A classic instrumental rendition of the anthem
  • Blues Travelers’ version performed in 1989
  • The Star-Spangled Banner, 1915
  • A version performed by Guster in 2006
  • Watch

  • A short film from the 1940s, a sort of ode to the American flag
  • A film from 1942 showcasing military clips and fireworks
  • Read

  • The Centenary of the Star-Spangled Banner
  • An Essay on the Star-Spangled Banner and National Songs
  • Francis Scott Key Author of the Star Spangled Banner: What Else He Was and Who
  • Poems of the Late Francis S. Key
  • –Cara Binder

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    4 Responses to Home of the Brave

    1. Hildesheimer says:

      During the war of 1812 was key witness of the British bombardment on Fort McHenry in Baltimore. He was aboard a British warship had been brought to the release of a friend to obtain the load presented to you, British deserters to have given shelter. The British High Command has declared itself ready, both freely again, but for security reasons they were on night leave on board, while the fleet attacked the fort.

      When he was in the morning the flag of the United States is still above the fortress breeze saw inspired him to the poem The Defense of Fort McHenry, where he will and the resistance of the victory of his fellow countrymen celebrated.

      Later, a popular piece of music among them placed (To Anacreon in Heaven by English composer John Stafford Smith) and 1931 under the name of The Star-Spangled Banner to the American national anthem done.

      In honor of Francis Scott Key’s notified the United States Navy nuclear submarine, the USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657).

      He was the Urgroßonkel of the writer Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

    2. paul and jean says:

      I remember this so well, when the people would stand up before the movie began, and they would place their right arm across their chest and would sing along with the words flashed on the screen and with the Technicolor image of the flag. How different everything is now! All gone.

    3. Big Al says:

      Who can stop the wind?

    4. Justan American says:

      Americans NEVER used to place their right hands over their heart during the playing of the National Anthem.

      As children we were taught to stand remove hats if they were being worn and be respectful during the playing of the National Anthem.

      The ONLY time Americans placed their right hands over their hearts was during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

      It was only recently when the politicians attempted to appear patriotic while they sold the country out ,they get it wrong and started placing their hands over their hearts during the playing of this anthem.

      Strangely, the only one who”got it right” was Barack Obama.

      He always just stood respectfully.

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