Profile of the Day: Francis Scott Key

Posted September 14, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key

On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key penned the poem that would later become the lyrics to the United States’ national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Key was born on August 1, 1779 at the family plantation in Maryland. His father was a lawyer, a judge and an officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

During the War of 1812, Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British forces while aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant. On board to negotiate the release of prisoners, Key was powerless to do anything but watch the bombardment of the American fort during what would become known as the Battle of Baltimore. At dawn on September 14, 1814, Key could see the American flag still waving. Inspired by the sight, Key wrote the poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry” that morning. The words were later adapted to music and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was officially named the national anthem of the United States in 1931.

Fun fact: Did you know author F. Scott Fitzgerald is Francis Scott Key’s second cousin thrice removed? The famous author was named after his cousin.

Explore Francis Scott Key’s family tree on Geni and discover how you’re related!

View Francis Scott Key’s Geni Profile


Image: Library of Congress

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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