U.S. National Anthem

The Star-Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key first published his impressions of the Fort McHenry victory as a broadside poem, with a note that it should be sung to the popular British melody "To Anacreon in Heaven." Soon after, Thomas Carr's Baltimore music store published the words and music together under the title "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song gained steadily in popularity in the years before the Civil War. By 1861 it shared with "Yankee Doodle" and "Hail Columbia" the distinction of being played on most patriotic occasions. Nonetheless Congress did not make the song the national anthem until 1931.

In 1931, due largely to the efforts of Mrs. Reuben Ross Holloway, president of the Maryland State Society, United States Daughters of 1812, and Congressman J. Charles Linthicum of Baltimore, Congress made "The Star-Spangled Banner" the official national anthem of the United States.

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of American History