At Pro-Sound & Light Show, our Minnesota DJs play songs that get people moving. After watching Olympic coverage this week, we are reminded of the song that inspires every American to stand – the Star-Spangled Banner. The national anthem of the United States of America has served as a backdrop to some historic events thus far: swimmer Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian, Gabby Douglas winning the All-Around competition in gymnastics, and Kayla Harrison winning the first American gold in judo.
The Star Spangled Banner has a fascinating history. It began as a poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. Historians note that Key was inspired by the Battle of Fort McHenry, where American forces persevered over bombardment from British Forces. Soon after, Key’s poem was combined with a popular drinking song – “The Anacreontic Song.” With its distinct melody and rousing lyrics, the new version gained in popularity. In the early 20th century, President Woodrow Wilson called for a standardized rendition of the song and ordered it played at military events. President Herbert Hoover signed a law making the Star-Spangled Banner the official national anthem in 1931.
Although the national anthem is played at many sporting events throughout the United States, there is something special about hearing it on the international stage as the best athletes in the world gather to represent their countries. As the Stars and Stripes descend from the ceiling and proud Americans place their hands over their hearts, the stirring instrumental version of the anthem begins…and in that moment, we can truly unite as citizens of the “land of the free, and the home of the brave.”
(Sources: history.com, wikipedia.com, nbcnews.com)