Test your knowledge of our anthem's origins

1. The attack on Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became "The Star-Spangled Banner." When did the battle occur?

A. Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

B. War of 1812

C. Civil War (1861-65)

2. Where did Key witness the bombardment?

A. As a sailor on an American ship

B. As a captive aboard a British ship

C. As a soldier in the fort

3. Where is Fort McHenry located?

A. Baltimore Harbor

B. New York Harbor

C. Boston Harbor

4. When did the song become America's National Anthem?

A. 1776

B. 1864

C. 1931

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica


(1) B, during the Battle of Baltimore, Sept. 12-14, 1814; (2) B. Key, a lawyer, was sent to negotiate the release of a friend being held by the British. He succeeded, but because of the impending attack he was detained. (3) A; (4) C. Both sides sang it in the Civil War, but it wasn't widely accepted until World War I. President Hoover signed the bill into law on March 3, 1931.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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