Destination Directory

Frederick County Maryland: Celebrating 200 Years of the Star-Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key, a Frederick County, Maryland, native, penned the words that would eventually be adopted as the national anthem of the United States. The thirty-five-year-old lawyer and amateur poet was inspired by the iconic flag flying over Baltimore's Fort McHenry in the dawn's early light, following the British bombardment on September 13 and 14, 1814. The poem was set to music and, later, renamed. It became the national anthem in 1931.

Frederick's Mount Olivet Cemetery is the final resting place of "Star-Spangled Banner" author Francis Scott Key, and the cemetery has an impressive monument dedicated to Key, whose uniquely American story begins and ends in Frederick. To honor the author of the country's national anthem, Frederick is preparing for the approaching 200th anniversary of Key's writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" in 1814. To learn more about Francis Scott Key's hometown of Frederick, click here.

Frederick, Maryland, is less than forty-five minutes from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and just minutes from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Scenic byways lead to wineries, orchards, recreational opportunities, and Civil War heritage sites. Here, visitors can find historic and vibrant towns that offer unique shopping, world-class dining, and abundant tour options. The Frederick Visitor Center is ready to welcome your groups. Located in a beautifully renovated circa-1899 industrial warehouse, the Frederick Visitor Center boasts 2,200 square feet of interpretive exhibits, as well as a state-of-the-art theater featuring our award-winning multiscreen orientation film A Turn of the Wheel.

 Photo courtesy of Kurt Holter/Tourism Council of Frederick County.


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