Friday, June 13, 2014


Don't forget to fly your Flag this weekend. Saturday, June 14th is FLAG DAY, a day of national observance proclaimed each year by Presidential Proclamation, that recognizes the date in 1777 that the Second Continental Congress selected the flag of the United States.  This year is the 237 anniversary of the creation of the Stars & Stripes and also marks the 200th anniversary of the drafting of the poem which became our National Anthem.  Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics while watching the American army, and its flag, withstand a British naval bombardment during the War of 1812's Battle of Fort McHenry which took place on September 13, 1814.  This poem was set to music and became known as the Star Spangled Banner.  Congress passed a resolution on March 3, 1931 which was signed into law by President Herbert Hoover recognizing the Star Spangled Banner as the National Anthem of the United States.

To celebrate FLAG DAY and this anniversary year for the Star Spangled Banner, the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American History is hosting a special event on June 14th.  RAISE IT UP! ANTHEM FOR AMERICA will celebrate Flag Day with the opening up of a special exhibit recognizing the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner and a nationally televised concert commemorating the National Anthem.  From June 14th through July 6, the National Museum of American History will have the original flag from Fort McHenry (normally on permanent exhibit at the museum) that inspired Francis Scott Key on display with the original manuscript of the poem he wrote in 1814 (on loan from the Maryland Historical Society). The Smithsonian Institute is hosting an "Anthem for America" concert on the National Mall from 2:30 pm until 4:00pm EST on June 14th that will be broadcast on ESPN3 and live streamed on Youtube.  At 4:00 pm the Nashville-based americana group Della Mae will wrap up the concert by leading a national singing of the Star Spangled Banner hoping to set a new Guinness World Record for largest collective national-anthem performance.  There are registered parties around the Country where people will be singing the national anthem together at the same time as Della Mae to be counted for the Guinness World Record.  For example, here in Detroit the party is at The Henry Ford.  CLICK HERE to find a location by you.

The Anthem for America concert will feature appearances by Kristen Capolino, Carlene Carter, a 400-person choir conducted by Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre and MacArthur "Genius" Fellow Francisco Nunez, The U.S. Air Force Band under the direction of Colonel Larry Lang, Smithsonian Folkways' A Little Bit A Blues Band, and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Quintet.  

So get your Flags raised on Saturday and take a minute out from your Fathers Day Weekend at 4pm on June 14th  to join your fellow citizens from across the country to celebrate our National Anthem together.  Hey parents, this could also be a fun way to incorporate a civics/history lesson into a student's summer break!

Oh by the way, if you are looking to take a road trip in the Baltimore area this Summer you may want to check out special #STARSPANGLEDSUMMER events to commemorate the Star Spangled Banner's 200th anniversary leading up to a big STAR SPANGLED SPECTACULAR week long celebration September 10 - 16, 2014.  For more information, visit:

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