'O Say Can You See?' 2014 Marks the 200 Anniversary of America's National Anthem

Baltimore Mayor Announces Historic Events and Celebrations

Friday, January 10, 2014 - 9:00am

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, along with representatives from the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Visit Baltimore, today announced the schedule for Star-Spangled Summer 2014, the final three months of historic events and celebrations set to take place from Flag Day (June 14, 2014) through Defender’s Day (September 14, 2014) to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the writing of the national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner, originally penned by Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in 1814, is the most popular piece of patriotic American music ever written.

Baltimore will be the epicenter of a series of statewide festivals stretching to historic waterfront communities along the Chesapeake Bay, all of which played a role in the successful American defense in 1814.

“I want to thank the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Governor O'Malley for all the work they have put into this year’s upcoming events,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “The success of Sailabration, the event that marked the beginning of the two-year bicentennial, should be matched—or outdone—this year. We want 2014 to be a year of learning, fun, and unforgettable experiences.”

The culmination of a multi-year campaign of events designed to honor the bicentennial, Star-Spangled Summer 2014 will kick off at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with the uniting of the original, hand-written manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s poem with the actual Star-Spangled Banner that inspired it. The manuscript will be on loan June 14 – July 6, 2014 from the Maryland Historical Society, where it will return on July 7.

Baltimore Events
The return of the manuscript to its permanent home at the Maryland Historical Society on July 7 is but one of many events planned throughout the summer in Baltimore, culminating with Star-Spangled Spectacular. Star-Spangled Spectacular is a free festival that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our national anthem, taking place from Sept. 6 – 16, 2014. Tall ships, Navy gray hulls and the Blue Angels will headline a full roster of non-stop activities planned along Baltimore’s famed waterfront. Landside festivals include re-enactments, a family fun-zone, live musical performances, and Chesapeake food and beverage. Events crescendo on September 13 with a star-studded patriotic concert and extraordinary fireworks display stretching from Fort McHenry to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and beyond. For those unable to celebrate in Baltimore, the entire nation will have an opportunity to participate in this historic occasion when all are invited to simultaneously sing the Star-Spangled Banner at an appointed time on the night of September 13, the eve of the anniversary. A final tribute will be held on Sunday morning, September 14, when the 200th anniversary will be memorialized at Fort McHenry with the morning flag-raising ceremony.

Chesapeake Campaign
Beyond Baltimore, visitors to Maryland this summer can connect with living history via the Chesapeake Campaign, a free 18-month traveling festival along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Launched in 2013 and continuing into the Summer of 2014, the events feature re-enactors, hands-on educational activities, performances, food, drink and interactive fun along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic
Trail. Beginning the weekend of June 6-8, 2014, a series of five different weekend events will be celebrated in Leonardtown, St. Leonard, Bladensburg, Fairlee and Brookeville. A full roster of events and dates can be found here.

About Star-Spangled 200
Star-Spangled 200 is a multi-year commemoration that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. Star-Spangled Sailabration in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay launched the events in June 2012. Sailabration included a maritime festival with 45 vessels from a dozen nations and an airshow featuring the Blue Angels, and drew more than 1.5 million visitors. Star-Spangled 200 continued Spring 2013 through Summer 2014 with the Chesapeake Campaign, a series of more than a dozen festivals in waterfront communities around the Bay. Two conferences were held at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2013 - Cross Tech, June 10-11 and From Enemies to Allies, June 12-15 – bringing together leaders in cyber security and scholars from the U.K, Canada and the U.S. Events will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, September 6-16, 2014, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the National Anthem. Star-Spangled 200 is supported by its Presenting Sponsor AT&T with Founding Partner support from Constellation and Papa John’s. For more information, please visit www.StarSpangled200.com or www.StarSpangled200.org.

About the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
The trail commemorates the War of 1812 and its legacy in the Chesapeake region. Over 560 miles of land and water routes in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia follow movements of British and American troops during a period of political and social turmoil that forever changed a young democratic nation. The National Park Service, in cooperation with state government, local jurisdictions and hundreds of nonprofit organizations, is working to preserve and develop sites and places along the trail to provide interpretation of the causes, events, and outcomes of the War and improve water access and recreation opportunities for visitors and residents. For more information visit http://StarSpangledTrail.net.

Jill Feinberg
Star-Spangled 200
[email protected]

Monee Cottman
Visit Baltimore
[email protected]