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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





Many Americans think of Francis Scott Key as the composer of the  Star  Spangled Banner, but what many don't know is that while he did write the lyrics, he did not write the melody. The melody was taken from a popular English song at the time called The Anacreontic Song (or sometimes called To Anacreon in Heaven) which was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th century gentlemen's club in London.

It is generally believed that the specific individual who wrote the melody was John Stafford Smith, one of the society members. The melody became very popular in America during the war of 1812 and was used in the Star Spangled Banner and several other patriotic songs of the time. Although the Star Spangled Banner remained a popular patriotic song, it didn't become our national anthem until 1931. Before that, other songs had served as the de-facto national anthem at different times in our history.

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The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner (Graphic History)  

The Star-Spangled Banner (Reading Rainbow Book)

The Writing of the Star-Spangled Banner (Landmark Events in American History)

Francis Scott Key: Author of the Star Spangled Banner; What Else He Was and Who,