Fort McHenry protected the water approaches to Baltimore for more than a hundred years, but was attacked only once. On September 13-14, 1814, British ships fired rockets and mortars at the fort for twenty-five hours. Fort McHenry withstood the bombardment, and when the smoke cleared the American flag was still waving where you see it now.
Francis Scott Key watched these dramatic events from the deck of a truce ship down the river to your left. His description of the battle was immortalized in "The Star-Spangled Banner," the song that later became our National Anthem.
The fort has undergone many changes since 1814, yet many original structures survive in whole or part. Historic sites on this tour will help you to recall those unforgettable hours when Fort McHenry's defenders saved a city and inspired a song.
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