For years, some Americans sang Key's poem to the tune of a popular British drinking song. Finally, on this date in 1931, Congress designated “The Star-Spangled Banner”—complete with the tune of that old drinking song—as the national anthem of the United States.
Enjoy—sing!—learn more about the national anthem.
- Here is a nice printable copy of the lyrics.
- The Smithsonian has the actual flag that Francis Scott Key wrote about.
- Read about how Key came to write his famous poem at Apples 4 the Teacher.
- Listen to three kids sing the quite difficult song.
Also on this date: