Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Summer Events and Exhibitions Announced

| April 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Visit Baltimore Release:

Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Summer Events and Exhibitions


Family of Flagmakers: The Women Who Created the Star-Spangled Banner

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House


This exhibit focuses on the life of Mary Pickersgill, maker of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag; her family; her household; and her neighborhood.  “Family of Flagmakers” includes several interactive areas including a station where you can measure yourself against the two-foot stars, touch reproduction fabric, and attempt to hoist the flag’s weight.

Defense of the Nation: Maryland in the War of 1812

Baltimore Visitor Center
May 1 – September 1, 2014

This traveling exhibition offers the opportunity to experience the crucial Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812. Though some call the War of 1812 “America’s Forgotten War,” this exhibition shows why the events that took place 200 years ago continue to inspire and enlighten Americans.

For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture

May 17, 2014 – February 28, 2015

Few people realize that Grace Wisher, a young African American indentured servant in Mary Pickersgill’s household, worked on the flag that became a national symbol. Wisher’s contribution to American history will be honored with this major exhibition that is an investigation into the history and representation of the U.S. flag as an icon. “For Whom It Stands” features more than 75 works of art, artifacts, documents and photographs.

Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty

Maryland Science Center

Beginning June 14, 2014

This IMAX film explores the origins of the War of 1812 – the British torching of Washington, D.C., the White House and Capital and the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

A Very Visionary Star-Spangled Sidewalk

American Visionary Art Museum

Through September 2014

A free, outdoor art celebration depicting our nation’s beloved national anthem in an engaging, family-fun and informative format playfully welcomes both visitor feet and wheelchairs into an up-close and personal viewing experience – 520 linear feet of sidewalk transformed into a visually creative interpretation, line by line, of our national anthem.

The Star-Spangled Banner. A Patriotic Song.

Maryland Historical Society

The Maryland Historical Society is home to the oldest known surviving manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Along with this national icon, the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery showcases paintings and artifacts that tell the story of the brave defenders of Baltimore who fought to protect our country from the British. Currently on view is “The Star-Spangled Banner. A Patriotic Song.” Published by Carr Music Store in Baltimore in 1814, it is one of the few remaining copies of the first edition of the poem set to music we know as our national anthem.

“O” Say Can You See: The Star Spangled Banner in Sports

Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum

The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum features a 3-D film that reveals the genesis of our national anthem being played at sporting events throughout America. The song has a sporting origin dating back to the first game of the 1918 baseball World Series. The short film, screened on an exciting, new projection technology, also celebrates the anthem’s place in sports by featuring a composite playing of the song pulled from dozens of renditions dating from the 1930s to the present.

Special Events

Bicentennial Fife and Drum Muster

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

June 28, 2014

The patriotic summer kicks off with over 60 musicians performing at an afternoon Tattoo ceremony. Participants include units from Fort George, Crown Forces, Fort McHenry and others.

Grand July 4th Celebration

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

July 4, 2014

Enjoy the Fourth of July with flag talks; cannon-firing; parade through Federal Hill; and a celebration of the nation’s birthday the early-Republic way with toasting, songs and the public reading of the Declaration of Independence at 3 p.m.

Military Tattoo Ceremonies

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
July 5 and August 2, 2014

Each evening ceremony features a branch of service – Army, Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps. Precision drill, music and living history make each program unique and memorable.

Defenders’ Day at Clifton Mansion

Clifton Mansion
August 9, 2014
Clifton Mansion is one of the few remaining homes in Baltimore City of an officer in the War of 1812. At this year’s Defenders’ Day, visitors will “meet” Captain Henry Thompson; enjoy tours; and sample the food, music and games of the early

Star-Spangled Spectacular

Inner Harbor

September 10-16, 2014

Baltimore is the birthplace of the national anthem and the focal point in the celebration of its 200th anniversary in 2014. The commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, a free celebration featuring living history demonstrations, fireworks, the Blue Angels’ air show, naval ships and special commemorative

Ongoing Activities

National Anthem Tour by Sea

Inner Harbor, Light Street Finger Piers

Starting May 9

The narrated 60-minute cruise celebrates the War of 1812 bicentennial. Guests will learn the story of the War of 1812 in Maryland and the state’s pivotal role in securing America’s independence and how our nation got two of its most enduring icons – the national anthem and the

Fort McHenry Boat Tour

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Daily, May 24 – September 30

Experience the fort from the water on this lively 35-minute audio tour. The boat tour provides a unique perspective through the eyes of Francis Scott Key’s experience in the hours leading up to writing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The tour will depart from the fort on the hour from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Fort! Flag! Fire!

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Daily, July-August

Fort McHenry will have special daily programming to engage visitors throughout the summer including the raising of the full-sized 30-by-42-foot flag, ranger-led programs, a robust living history program, ongoing children’s activities and more.

O’er the Ramparts

Flights depart from Tipton Airport

Through November 30, 2014

Enjoy a helicopter ride over Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the birthplace of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” in honor of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. While circling the fort, you’ll see Federal Hill, marinas and the spectacular Baltimore Inner Harbor skyline.


Star-Spangled Banner Pass

Adult: $18.12; seniors (55+) and military: $18.00; young adults (ages 16-18): $17.75; child and student (ages 7-15): $9.75; under 7: free

Fort! Flag! Fire! Schedule – June 28 – September 1, 2014 at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

 Ranger Programs (seven days a week)

10:15 a.m. – “Hoist the Colors! Flag-Raising at Fort McHenry”

Visitors join the park ranger to help raise the grand 30-by-42-foot Star-Spangled Banner flag over the ramparts of the historic fort.

11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. – The “Keynote” Story!

Learn the story of Francis Scott Key seeing the Star-Spangled Banner “by dawn’s early light.” In this interactive program, visitors move model ships, figures of British soldiers and small flags as the ranger tells the story of the events leading up to the writing of our national anthem.

 12:15 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m. – “Broad Stripes and Bright Stars!”

In this hands-on ranger talk, visitors unroll the full-sized replica Star-Spangled Banner flag. Experience 30-by-42- feet of “pure awesome” by unrolling the large flag on the exact site where it flew in 1814.

2:15 p.m. “The Battle of Baltimore and Birth of the Anthem

Discover what it was like to be a defender at the fort in 1814 by becoming a member of the gun crew. Visitors will learn why the British wanted to take Baltimore and then will be “drafted” into the militia. The talk concludes with visitors standing on the fort’s gun deck looking downriver to the location of Key’s ship and the British fleet.

2:15 p.m. History’s “Wildcard Weekend!”  (Saturdays and Sundays only)

In history’s “wildcards” of the famous and infamous, visitors may meet one of the well-known characters from 1814. This grab-bag of history includes: Francis Scott Key; Mary Pickersgill, who made the large flag; Major George Armistead, who commanded Fort McHenry; a British soldier from the 4th Regiment of Foot; and Dr. William Beanes, who was indirectly responsible for Francis Scott Key writing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

 5:15 p.m. “Lower the Colors”

The American flag flies 24 hours a day by presidential proclamation at Fort McHenry. Join the ranger for a flag change as the 1814-style American flag is changed to the modern one. “Taps” is ceremoniously played at the conclusion of the program.

Living History Programs (Wednesday through Sunday only)

 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  “A Blast from the Past!”

Soldiers and sailors muster on the gun deck to load and fire the fort’s great guns. Learn why the British ships turned and sailed away the morning after the battle, and see the cannon-crew in action. If you like smoke and noise, this demonstration is for you!

Noon and 3 p.m.  “Fun and Fury with Fife and Drum!”

Hear the thunderous beat of the drums and the inspiring fifes of the Fort McHenry Guard’s nationally recognized fife and drum corps. Dressed in their hallmark red uniforms of U.S. field music, the fifes and drums play original pieces from 1814. Hear about how music inspired the troops, regulated the duty day and reflected the ethnic diversity of the young United States.

1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – “Citizens Stand!” and “Young Defenders!”

Discover how average Baltimoreans contributed to the city’s defense from the British in “Citizens Stand!” At this station, visitors will learn about flag-making, fashions from 1814, historic cooking and life on the home front.

Located near the “Citizens Stand” tent, “Young Defenders” presents children’s activities. At this station, the young and young at heart can drill with wooden muskets, help stitch a flag, engage in cutlass drill, try on a replica historic outfit or write a letter using the same types of quill and ink Francis Scott Key used when he wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
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