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September 14, 2014, marked the 200th anniversary of the “Star-Spangled Banner”.
It originally was a poem called "Defence of Fort M'Henry" written by Francis Scott Key 0n 9-14-1814 after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the American victory and by seeing the American flag flying over the fort. The poem was later set to music and published under the name “The Star- Spangled Banner”.
The song gained popularity throughout the 1800s and was played by bands during public events. On July 27, 1889, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Tracy made it the official tune to be played at the raising of the flag.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that "The Star-Spangled Banner" be played at military and other appropriate occasions.
And on March 3,1931 President Herbert Hoover signed a law officially adopting “The Star-Spangled Banner” as America's National Anthem.
How Did Our National Anthem Become Associated with Sports?
|The National Anthem|
Near the end of that World Series, the tune was played before the first pitch at Fenway Park and it was the beginning of a tradition that became a baseball game standard during World War II. Eventually the playing of the American National Anthem became a custom adopted by other American sports and continues to this day.
This reminds me of that oldest of baseball jokes: "What are the last two words of the national anthem? Play ball!"
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