Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

A star-shaped masonry fort at the edge of a body of water.
Baltimore's Fort McHenry is part of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.

NPS photo

Quick Facts

During the War of 1812, the Chesepeake Bay was the site of British military raids and the hub of American privateers who harassed British shipping. In the summer of 1814, a British invasion force entered the bay, captured and burned Washington D.C., and attempted to subdue Baltimore. 

The successful defense of Balimore at Fort McHenry inspired the poem that became America's National Anthem, and caused the British to abandon their Chesapeake Bay campaign. The Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marks and intereprets numerous sites associated with the War of 1812 in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. and the military campaign that culminated in the birth of "the Star Spangled Banner." 

Last updated: March 12, 2015