200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner

Star-Spangled Banner Spectacular Events at Fort McHenry!

BALTIMORE – To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, special programs and events are planned from September 6-16, 2014. The events during this landmark week will honor the legacy of two of America's greatest symbols – the American Flag and the National Anthem! Special events such as fireworks, living history, Ranger-led programs, tall ships and an air show featuring the Blue Angels are some of the many commemorative activities.

  • Special programs will be featured on different days so scroll down or click the Schedule of Events link for details.
All events are open to the public and reservations are not required. Anniversary programs are included in the regular Fort McHenry NM&HS entrance fee of $7.00 for adults, 16 and older (under 16 is admitted free). Admission is free with a National Park Service pass or Fort McHenry National Monument annual pass; no admission fees will be charged on Saturday, September 13 or Sunday, September 14.

Special Displays

  • Francis Scott Key's original handwritten manuscript of The Defence of Fort McHenry will be on display in the Fort McHenry NM&HS Visitor Center from September 9-14 only! The exhibition is made possible by a generous loan from the Maryland Historical Society.
  • Pieces of the ORIGINAL Star-Spangled Banner Flag will be on display in the Fort McHenry NM&HS Visitor Center from September 9-16, courtesy of The Flag House & Star-Spangled Banner Museum.
  • September 11 ONLY! – See the 9-11 Flag that was salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Center in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. On display under a large tent outside the fort's Visitor and Education Center, this flag is being displayed for the first time at the Birthplace of "The Star-Spangled Banner." This exhibition is made possible by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
Schedule of Special Activities

September 6-16, 2014

Visitor Center
At the Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine Visitor Center, watch the 11-minute multi-media program about the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, and explore the museum's interactive exhibits about the battle. See Francis Scott Key's original handwritten manuscript, on loan for the anniversary period from the Maryland Historical Society. The visitor center also contains a gift shop, operated by the Evelyn Hill Corporation, which contains a wide variety of books and keepsakes about Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner.

Historic Star Fort
Tour the original fort and buildings that defended Baltimore in 1814. Living history volunteers dressed as soldiers, sailors and citizens from 1814, are on duty throughout the fort every day to provide a glimpse of the past, and Park Rangers provide insight and information on the defense of the fort that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner.

Saturday, September 6, 2014
Park grounds: 9 am – 5 pm
Visitor Center: 9 am – 5 pm
Historic Star Fort: 9 am – 5 pm

Origin of the Star-Spangled Banner - 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm
Join a Park Ranger for this hands-on program about the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Help unroll the 30 by 42 foot full-sized replica Star-Spangled Banner flag at the exact site where it flew in 1814.

Battle of North Point Bicentennial - 10 am – 5 pm
Join the Fort McHenry Guard on the original battlefield to commemorate the September 12 engagement between British troops and American militia. Daylong events include living history, battlefield tours, wreath-laying at Battle Acre and display of the Maryland Historical Society replica Star-Spangled Banner flag. Battle Acre Park, North Point Road (near intersection of Trappe Road) Dundalk, MD 21222.

Sunday, September 7, 2014
Park grounds: 9 am – 5 pm
Visitor Center: 9 am – 5 pm
Historic Star Fort: 9 am – 5 pm

Origin of the Star Spangled Banner - 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm
Join a Park Ranger for this hands-on program about the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Help unroll the 30 by 42 foot full-sized replica Star-Spangled Banner flag at the exact site where it flew in 1814.

Battle of North Point Bicentennial - 9:15 am – 5 pm
Join the Fort McHenry Guard on the original battlefield to commemorate the September 12 engagement between British troops and American militia. Daylong events include living history, battlefield tours, wreath-laying at Battle Acre and display of the Maryland Historical Society replica Star-Spangled Banner flag. Battle Acre Park, North Point Road (near intersection of Trappe Road) Dundalk, MD 21222.

Monday, September 8, 2014
Park grounds: 9 am – 5 pm
Visitor Center: 9 am – 5 pm
Historic Star Fort: 9 am – 5 pm

Origin of the Star Spangled Banner - 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm
Join a Park Ranger for this hands-on program about the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Help unroll the 30 by 42 foot full-sized replica Star-Spangled Banner flag at the exact site where it flew in 1814.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Park grounds: 7:30 am – 5 pm
Visitor Center: 7:30 am – 5 pm
Historic Star Fort: 7:30 am – 5 pm

Living Star-Spangled Banner Flag Day! - 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Over 7,000 school students, each wearing red, white and blue will form the largest 15 star/stripe Star-Spangled Banner flag ever created! Students are coming from every county in Maryland and the City of Baltimore for this experiential learning experience. Visitors are welcome to watch the living flag being formed. If unable to attend, feel free to participate virtually! This nation-wide learning opportunity will touch students and visitors across America through distance learning, live streaming and social media.

For more details about the Living Flag, please visit the Star-Spangled Banner Living Flag website.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Park grounds: 6 am – 5 pm
Visitor Center: 8 am – 5 pm
Historic Star Fort: 8 am – 5 pm

Pass in Review! Tall Ships and Modern Naval Vessels Sail by the Fort - 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Led by Pride of Baltimore II, Maryland's War of 1812 tall ship, more than 35 naval vessels and tall ships from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Germany, Spain and Turkey will sail past Fort McHenry on their way to the Inner Harbor, where they will dock until September 16 (public visitation will be from September 11-15). Fort McHenry NM&HS will open at 6:00 a.m. for those who wish to watch their arrival.

See and hear the guns of Fort McHenry fire salutes as the ships pass by! Take part in special Ranger-led talks highlighting the Star-Spangled Banner flag and its origins from maritime usage. Unrolling the 30 x 42-foot flag is a hallmark of this program!

For more details about the Visiting Ships, please visit the Star-Spangled 200 website.

Ranger Talks - 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 pm

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Park grounds: 8 am – 8 pm
Visitor Center: 8 am – 8 pm
Historic Star Fort: 8 am – 8 pm

Tragedy and Triumph – the 9-11 Flag, the Modern Star-Spangled Banner - 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
National 9/11 Flag on display. Regarded as the modern "Star-Spangled Banner," the flag salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Center in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, will be on display under a special canopy at Fort McHenry. An honor guard of Baltimore City firefighters will stand watch throughout this day.

9/11 Commemoration - 11:00 a.m.
Join first responders from New York and Baltimore, march with them and renew your bond to the American flag as the Fort McHenry Guard and living historians solemnly process from the Visitor Center to the historic Star Fort for a ceremony to honor those whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001. The commemorative ceremony will include music, remarks relating the Battle of Baltimore and 9/11, and a wreath laying. At the conclusion of the program, Taps will be played and the names of those Baltimore residents killed on 9/11 and during the 1814 defense of Baltimore will be read. Procession to the ceremony forms at the Visitor Center; ceremony takes place in the Star Fort.

Ranger Talks - 9:15 am, 5:15 pm, 6:15 pm, 7:15 pm
Special Ranger-led programs will trace the development of the American flag from the War of 1812 to the present day as a national icon. Hear how the Star-Spangled Banner inspired Francis Scott Key as well as the survivors of 9/11 as you unroll the full 30 x 42-foot Star-Spangled Banner flag!

Friday, September 12, 2014
Park grounds: 8 am – 8 pm
Visitor Center: 8 am – 8 pm
Historic Star Fort: 8 am – 8 pm

Defenders' Day – Then and Today!
"Baltimore will never forget the old Defenders of 1814!" –said Governor Thomas Swann in 1889. The successful defense of the city from the British has been observed annually since 1814.Defenders' Day was proclaimed a Maryland state holiday in 1908 and is Baltimore's oldest holiday. Highlights at the fort and the city include:

Ceremony at Battle Monument - 10:00 a.m.
Join the Ranger staff as they explore the hidden allegories in the city's Battle Monument, participate in a wreath-laying ceremony with uniformed living history participants dressed as the 1814 defenders! (Calvert and Fayette Streets, Baltimore City)

Causes, Conflicts & Commemoration – 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 5:15 pm, 7:15 pm
A Park Ranger explains the origins and progression of the War of 1812, and looks at how the conflict is remembered 200 years later. Help unroll the 30 by 42 foot full-sized replica Star-Spangled Banner flag at the exact site where it flew in 1814. Star Fort.

Young Defenders! - Family activities at Fort McHenry! - 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
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

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Park grounds: 8 am – 10 pm
Visitor Center: 8 am – 8 pm
Historic Star Fort: 8 am – 5 pm

FREE ADMISSION TO FORT

1814 "Shock and Awe" - Rockets' Red Glare, Bombs Bursting in Air!
September 13, 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the bombardment of Fort McHenry. Starting at 8:00 a.m. cannons will be firing from the fort's gun deck. Hear the echo down the river, see the smoke, smell the gunpowder and imagine what it was like to be at the fort 200 years ago. Ships Pride of Baltimore II and Sultana will symbolically represent the "British" squadron from 9:00-9:30. The guns fall silent at 10:30 as the park prepares to host the Blue Angels at a special air show in the afternoon. Highlights of the day include:

Morning cannon-firing (ongoing) - 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Ranger-led guided walks in "real time"hourly 8:15 am -11:15 am
Rangers take visitors through the living history camps to exact places where events during the bombardment occurred.

Family-oriented programs at the Young Defenders' room in the Star Fort - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Young Defenders! - Family activities at Fort McHenry! - 10:00 am –4:00 pm
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

U.S. Postal Service Stamp Release Ceremony -11:00 am
New "Forever" stamp depicting bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

Star-Spangled Spectacular Air Show! - 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
See the finest of U.S. Navy flight during a one-and-a-half hour air show over the fort! Featured act will be the renowned BLUE ANGELS! Time subject to change based on weather conditions.

For more details about the Air Show, please visit the Star-Spangled 200 website.

Evening Program - 7:30 p.m.
  • Performance by U.S. Marine Band "President's Own"
  • Raising of 30 x 42-Foot "Star-Spangled Banner" Flag
  • Large Fireworks Display
For more details about the Fireworks Display, please visit the Star-Spangled 200 website.

Sunday, September 14, 2014
Park grounds: 7 am – 8 pm
Visitor Center: 7 am – 8 pm
Historic Star Fort: 7 am – 8 pm

FREE ADMISSION TO FORT

By the Dawn's Early Light Flag-Raising Ceremony - 8:30 am
Be part of a history-making moment! After a 25-hour bombardment, the garrison of Fort McHenry raised the "Star-Spangled Banner" flag over the ramparts at 9:00 am on September 14, 1814.This special once-in-a-lifetime event will include:

  • Artillery barrage by Third U.S. Infantry, U.S. Army "Old Guard" howitzers
  • Fife and drum concert by Fort McHenry Guard Field Music
  • Playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner by U.S. Navy Band
  • Hoisting of the hand-stitched replica of the 30 x 42-foot flag made by Maryland Historical Society at 9:00 a.m. to the minute!
  • Special Remarks by General Colin Powell
  • Public reading of the National Anthem by: Colin Powell U.S. General (retired), Franchon Cruz - Athlete, Ken Nacke - Baltimorean & Brother of Flight #93 Passenger
  • 21-Gun salute to "The Star-Spangled Banner" by U.S. Army "Old Guard"
  • Historic tall ships sailing by fort led by Pride of Baltimore II representing Francis Scott Key's truce ship.
Following the Dawn's Early Light Ceremony, activities include:
  • Ranger–led programs about Francis Scott Key and the writing of the National Anthem. A replica 30 x 42-foot flag will be unrolled at each presentation. 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 5:15 pm, 7:15 pm.
  • Family-oriented activities in the fort's Defenders' Room. 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Young Defenders! - Family activities at Fort McHenry! - 10:00 am –4:00 pm
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

Star-Spangled Spectacular Air Show! - 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
See the finest of U.S. Navy flight during a one-and-a-half hour air show over the fort! Featured act will be the renowned BLUE ANGELS! Time subject to change based on weather conditions.

For more details about the Air Show, please visit the Star-Spangled 200 website.

Monday, September 15, 2014
Park hours: 9 am – 5 pm
Visitor Center: 9 am – 5 pm
Historic Star Fort: 9 am – 5 pm

Special Ranger anniversary guided walk - 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Park hours: 7 am – 5 pm
Visitor Center: 8 am – 5 pm
Historic Star Fort: 8 am – 5 pm

"Anchors Away!"
Come to Fort McHenry NM&HS and see the departure of more than 35 naval vessels and tall ships. Just as "The Star-Spangled Banner" song spread throughout the nation in the days after the battle, so too do our visiting tall ships and grey hulls take to the sea again for ports around the world. Highlights include:

  • Departure of most tall ships and naval vessels between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Fort McHenry Guard cannon-firing salute for departing vessels.
  • Ranger-led programs about the origins of "The Star-Spangled Banner" - 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm
For more details about the Visiting Ships, please visit the Star-Spangled 200 website.

 

Last updated: September 6, 2014

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Baltimore, MD 21230

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