Feel free to use and adapt this text for your school’s announcement…
“Good morning [optional: add name of school] faculty, staff, and students:
“This Sunday (September 14, 2014) marks the two hundredth anniversary of the writing of the United States National Anthem “The Star Spangled Banner.” Poet and patriot Francis Scott Key penned the song’s famous lyric aboard ship after the heroic, unexpected victory of American forces against the British navy at the Battle of Baltimore on September 14, 1814. The victory shifted the momentum of the War of 1812, also known as America’s Second War of Independence, saving the young nation’s independence and helping to deepen national identity and pride.
“This recording you will hear in a few moments is a performance of the original 1814 sheet music of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It is immediately recognizable, but its differences in rhythm, melody, and especially the faster tempo, reveal the song’s origins as a celebratory victory song. Over the decades the tempo would slow, emphasizing the song’s developing symbolic message as a reverent hymn to the nation. It would not be until 1931, after military conflict, explosive growth, and the efforts of all citizens had forged the United States as a nation, that the U.S. Congress named “The Star Spangled Banner” as the official national anthem of the United States of America.”
[Play Recording (verse one only), click here for Youtube version ]