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The Battle of Fort McHenry through Francis Scott Key's Eyes

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The Battle of Fort McHenry through Francis Scott Key's Eyes

Short | 03:26

When the British army held Francis Scott Key captive aboard one of their warships during the Battle of Baltimore, they could never have guessed his stay would inspire their enemy's most-patriotic song.

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"The Star-Spangled Banner" is known by all, treasured for its powerful melody and stirring lyrics. And yet, only about 40% of U.S. citizens know all the words. And even fewer know their meaning. Join us as we travel back to 1814, when Washington D.C. was under British attack during the "Second War of Independence," and the very bricks and mortar of American democracy were reduced to smoking rubble. We examine the battle that inspired witness Francis Scott Key to immortalize its final moments, then reveal how his poem transformed into an anthem.

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