The words to our national anthem have nothing to do with booze. (But even sober, nobody can remember them. Doh!) As we all know, the words of “The Star Spangled Banner” were written on September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key—a poem titled, “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” (Yawn.) But as nobody knows, Key recommended that his poem be sung to the popular 1770s British tune, “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a ye olde drinking song. (Yay!) Here ya go:
Until 1931, the United States had been without any national anthem. Interestingly, it was Robert L. Ripley of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” that spurred the interest of the American people to demand that “The Star Spangled Banner” become the official tune. On November 3, 1929, Ripley ran a panel in his syndicated cartoon stating that “Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem.” Americans were shocked (shocked!) and wrote five million letters to Congress demanding Congress proclaim a national anthem.
On March 3, 1931, U.S. President Herbert Hoover signed an act that officially made “The Star Spangled Banner” the national anthem for the United States. Now, PLAY BALL! And get me a beer, will you?
All photos above and below were taken yesterday, 7/4/13. Hot hot hot day, 91 degrees. Our day-long 13 NM paddle began and ended in Larchmont, NY, passing shore clubs and high-flying flags (and people!) along the way. Click on the first to begin slideshow.