Postal stamp unveiling, Blue Angels’ air show, fireworks and more at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on September 13

Visitors hold the edges of the 30-by-42 foot Star-Spangled Banner replica flag
Visitors hold the edges of the 30-by-42 foot Star-Spangled Banner replica flag and prepare to raise it over Fort McHenry


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News Release Date: September 11, 2014

Contact: Fort McHenry Press, 410-962-4290 ext. 886

BALTIMORE –September 13 marks the 200th anniversary of the bombardment of Fort McHenry.Vice President Joe Biden will join the National Park Service and Star-Spangled 200 to observe the event with an evening program at Fort McHenry featuring patriotic music by the United States Marine Band ("The President's Own"), performances by the Fort McHenry Guard, the raising of the 30 x 42-foot Star-Spangled Banner flag and fireworks.

Saturday's activities also include cannon firing, Park Ranger programs, family activities, the launching a new postage stamp, an air show, musical performances by the U.S. Marine Band, and fireworks.The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on Saturday, September 13, and Sunday, September 14.

The schedule for September 13 is:

8:15 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. - Living History Area Program
Fort McHenry NM&HS literally explodes with activity with living history presentations by the Fort McHenry Guard. Dressed as soldiers, sailors and citizens from 1814, Guard members provide a touchstone to the past by garrisoning the fort. Cannon-firing, fife and drum music, cooking demonstrations and children's activities offer visitors a "total immersion" experience. Smell the gunpowder, see the stars and stripes, hear the fifes and drums and feel the presence of history! Historic Star Fort

9:15 a.m., 4:15 p.m. - Flag Change Program
Join a Park Ranger for this hands-on program about the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Unroll the 30 by 42 foot full-sized replica Star-Spangled Banner flag at the exact site where it flew in 1814 and help a ranger raise/lower a reproduction of the flag over the fort (weather permitting).

10 a.m. –4 p.m. - Young Defenders Program
At these hands on activity stations, young visitors can learn about soldier life at Fort McHenry, and discover how average Baltimoreans contributed to the city's defense from the British. At the "Young Defenders" station, the young and young at heart can drill with wooden muskets, help stitch a flag, engage in cutlass drill, try on a replica historic outfit or write a letter using the same types of quill and ink Francis Scott Key used when he wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner."In "Citizens Stand!" learn about flag-making, fashions from 1814, historic cooking and life on the home front. Historic Star Fort.

11 a.m. –10 p.m. - Fort McHenry Festival Village
The Star-Spangled Spectacular Village will feature a variety of family-friendly entertainment including exhibits, hands-on activities, giveaways, food vendors and a tribute to all types of American music.

11 a.m. –12 p.m.- Fort McHenry Forever Stamp Release Ceremony
The U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner with the official first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the new Fort McHenry Forever Stamp. The stamp depicts soldiers manning a cannon in defense of the fort. Star Fort.

2 p.m. –4 p.m.- Star-Spangled Spectacular Air Show
The Star-Spangled Spectacular Air Show will feature precision flight demonstration acts from the U.S. Navy over a one-and-a-half-hour period between 2:00 and 4:00 PM. The featured act will be the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron. NOTE: Time subject to change based on weather conditions.

6 p.m. –10 p.m. - The Rockets' Red Glare and the Flag is Still There!
Observe the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner at the spot that endured the British bombardment, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."This evening program commemorates that historic event with remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Martin O'Malley, patriotic music by the United States Marine Band ("The President's Own") and others, performances by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and the Fort McHenry Fife and Drum Corps, raising of the 30 x 42-foot Star-Spangled Banner flag, and Star Spangled-Spectacular Fireworks!

Park grounds are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.The Visitor Center is open 8 8 p.m.The Historic Star Fort is open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

These events are part of Fort McHenry's weeklong series of events celebrating the 200th anniversary of the National Anthem. Star Spangled Spectacular, a free festival sponsored by Star-Spangled 200, Inc. and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission is hosting a variety of bicentennial activities at other venues throughout Baltimore, including, the Inner Harbor, Martin State Airport and Pier Six Pavilion. For additional information on these and other events, visit

About Fort McHenry National Monument &Historic Shrine

During the Battle of Baltimore, September 13–14, 1814, the valiant defense of the star-shaped Fort McHenry against the might of the British navy inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner." The 15 broad stripes and 15 bright stars still fly over the fort 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most famous as the birthplace of our National Anthem, the fort was used continuously in a variety of ways through World War II. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @FtMcHenryNPS.

About Maryland Historical Society
Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society's mission is to "collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland's diverse cultural heritage." The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled "Maryland Historical Magazine." Visit 

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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