At the Kentland Rotary Club meeting on Monday, July 28, Dr. Jay Brinkman presented a program in honor of the bicentennial year of the Star Spangled Banner.
The song was originally written as a poem with four verses entitled "Defense of Fort McHenry" by a 35 year old lawyer named Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814 after he had witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry on the Chesapeake Bay by the British navy the night before. The music was added later that year from a well-known British tune called The Anacreontic Song.
The Rotary program was focused on why the Star Spangled Banner took 117 years to become our national anthem. It was Major League Baseball that first popularized playing the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of events in the late 1880's. Not until 1931, when an act of Congress that was signed by President Herbert Hoover, did the Star Spangled Banner become our "official" national anthem.
The presenter suggested that it was the growing popularity of radios in homes in the late 1920's and into the 1930's that fueled the pressure to designate a national anthem.