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Signal Cannon

Aug 3, 2017

September, 1814. 
British naval forces begin moving toward Fort McHenry in Baltimore after setting fire to Washington. A lawyer and soldier by the name of Francis Scott Key is dispatched by President James Madison on a peaceful mission to facilitate a prisoner exchange. 
Aboard the British vessel HMS Tonnant, Key successfully arranges for the prisoner's release, but is held captive in the harbor while the British fleet pounds Fort McHenry with cannon fire overnight.

In the morning, as the mist clears, Francis Scott Key witnesses the raising of the ceremonial American flag above the fort. The British had not taken Fort McHenry during the night and retreated to beyond artillery range. Francis Scott Key, inspired to commemorate the victory, begins writing a poem to the tune of a familiar drinking song.

That poem you know as "The Star-Spangled Banner." But what do you really know about Francis Scott Key? And what about the song's next verse? That’s today, on Signal Cannon.