Special Collections: The Star Spangled Banner 125th Anniversary Official Program

The Law Library has many interesting newspapers that offer a glimpse into the past. One of the most fascinating newspapers in the collection is the 1939 edition of the Maryland Gazette. This edition was published to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's poem "Defence of Fort McHenry." The poem was written in 1814 to commemorate the British siege of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. When put to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven," it became the Star Spangled Banner. 

The song was officially adopted as the National Anthem of the United States in 1931. This edition of the Maryland Gazette was published as a commemorative and cost 25 cents (most newspapers sold for 3 cents at the time). You can learn more about the story behind the history on the Kennedy Center's website.