The National Anthem (True Books, American Symbols)

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. What is the name of the national anthem of the United States?

The Star-Spangled Banner. An anthem is a song of praise, and people sing The Star-Spangled Banner to show their pride in and love for the United States of America.

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2. Who did the United States fight against in the War of 1812?
Great Britain. James Madison was the President during the War of 1812. In the early 1800's, Britain stopped U.S. ships from sailing to France, searched the U.S. merchant ships, and took British-born American sailors. This was one of the reasons leading up to the War of 1812.

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3. What event during the War of 1812 inspired the writing of the U.S. national anthem?
The Battle of Fort McHenry. On September 13, 1814, American Francis Scott Key witnessed the British Navy attacking Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland. The next morning, "by the dawn's early light," Key saw "that our flag was still there." He was so inspired by this sight he wrote a poem on a piece of paper from his pocket. This poem became "The Star-Spangled Banner." Did you know the flag that flew over Fort McHenry "through the perilous fight" had 15 stars and 15 stripes, weighed 200 pounds, and measured 42 feet x 30 feet?

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4. Who wrote the national anthem of the United States?
Francis Scott Key. Key was a lawyer and poet from Georgetown. In September, 1814, Key boarded a British warship near Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, and helped in the release of American prisoner, Dr. William Beanes. The two men waited on a small boat behind the British fleet and watched the Battle of Fort McHenry. The battle lasted twenty-five hours. The rockets sent off a "red glare" as the bombs were "bursting in air." The smoke was so thick Key could not see the fort from his boat and did not know who was winning the battle. The next morning, Key was delighted to see "that our flag was still there" which meant the U.S. had won the battle.

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5. What happened on March 3, 1931?
The Star-Spangled Banner was made the official national anthem of the United States. This was over 117 years after Francis Scott Key wrote it. The Star-Spangled Banner had been a popular song in the United States. In 1895, it was adopted by the U.S. Army, and soldiers sang it while they raised and lowered the flag. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed the document which made it the national anthem. Did you know The Star Spangled Banner is played before ball games, at the Olympic games when a U.S. athlete wins a gold medal, and at all official U.S. government occasions?

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What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Anthem: Song of praise or loyalty
Gallantly: Bravely
Gleaming: Shining
Ramparts: Walls of a fort
Spangled: Covered with something
Twilight: Time of day just before dark

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Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a. What are the words of the national anthem?
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the rampart's we watch'd were so gallantly streaming?
And the Rockets red glare, the Bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled Banner yet waive,
O'er the Land of the free and the home of the brave?

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b. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers will vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
We sing the national anthem at the beginning of baseball games.

The prince fought gallantly to save the princess.

The gleaming stars in the sky are bright.

The fort is surrounded by ramparts.

I like cookies spangled with chocolate chips.

My family eats dinner at twilight.

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c. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

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More Valuable Information about the National Anthem:
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
The National Anthem (Baltimore County Public Library)
Star-Spangled Banner (Smithsonian Institution)

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American Symbols In Depth:
American Symbols Main Page

American Flag in Depth  |  National Anthem in Depth
Statue of Liberty in Depth
 |  Bald Eagle in Depth
 


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