My well-loved and well-read book.
March 3rd, 1931. “The Star-Spangled Banner” becomes America’s National Anthem. Wait…1931? I remember the day I discovered the date; Milly the Quilter had finished the God Bless America Quilt, and we had been singing the song. One of the reasons Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America” was because he didn’t like “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was hard to sing. Berlin talked about the song becoming our National Anthem. In 1931.
There must have been a mistake. Our country didn’t have a National Anthem before 1931? We’d been around a long time. I called my mother.
“Mother, was “The Star-Spangled Banner” the National Anthem when you were a child?”
“No, it wasn’t.”
I think she could tell I was not a happy camper.
“What did you sing growing up?”
“My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”
She was fine. She had lived through the wars and the depression. She was happy to sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” I think she was bothered that I was troubled. Our parents can always put a perspective on history. Thank goodness.
Happy Birthday to “The Star-Spangled Banner” becoming America’s National Anthem.
Thank you, Beth. 🇺🇸
Wonderful story, especially about an older generation’s perspective, your mom. I love the SSB. A teacher taugt it in elementary school and I’ve never forgotten the words. I’m putting out my flag right now😋
correction: taught ( same teacher taught spelling, too😉)
Thanks, Steve. I think Irving Berlin was probably right, though. It makes me crazy when people goof around when the SSB is played. 🇺🇸
I agree 100%
I once wrote a ‘global anthem’ for the whole world – everybody. It didn’t catch on though.
Good for you, Opher! Never give up.
History offers many opportunities for wonderful stories for you to share with the eager youngsters. 🙂
Yes, history does, even for the youngest of children. Thank you, Frank.
We learned the Star Spangle Banner in school, but whenever we performed (younger grades) they had us sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Not that we ever sounded good, but I suppose we sounded better singing that one.
That’s so interesting. I wonder if the teachers and administration were older (like my mother), and hanging onto the song that was easier to sing.
That could be. Most of the were older, except for my kindergarten teacher who must have just graduated.
Jennie, what a precious book but blimey, I had no idea your national anthem was so young! Intrigued I had to listen to ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ and astonished that this is the music to our God Save the King (still not used to that as all my life been Queen!) Yes, thank goodness to our parents – always grounding!
Annika, like you I had no idea it was so young. I was shocked. Yes, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” is is the same tune as “God Save the Queen.” And, you are so right about our parents. They ground us. Thank goodness!
It really is amazing the titbits that hide in our histories.
Hi Jennie, this is new information to me too.
I’m glad I’m not alone. 🙂
I am not a fan of the SSB. I don’t like it’s glorification of war, and the fact it is set to an English drinking song and is impossible for ordinary people to sing.
I opt for America The Beautiful. It speaks of the beauty of our land. And it asks that we ‘crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea’.
My rant being over, I like the artwork of the book and since you praised it as reading for the little ones, I know it must be very good, Jennie.
You are not on a rant at all. SSB is hard to sing, and Irving Berlin was right. Yet, from the perspective of Francis Scott Key trapped on the boat and watching the fight, the song makes perfect sense. The illustrations throughout the book are as wonderful as the cover. Don, I don’t think you followed me throughout the Milly the Quilter years. She felt that “America the Beautiful” was the best patriotic song. Milly had a beautiful voice, and she often sang this for the children. Wonderful doesn’t even come close. I need to sing this to the children more often. Best to you, Don.
I agree, Jennie, continue singing it just like Milly did.
Thanks, Don. I will!
In the song where it says ” and the bombs bursting in air”,you can thank Canada for that! It was written in regards to the war of 1812.
Yes, the song was written while Key was trapped on the boat in the Baltimore Harbor at Fort McHenry, watching, during the war of 1812. Please fill me in on Canada.
A great story, Jennie. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t know the Star Spangled Banner wasn’t the national anthem until 1931 either.
Thank you, John. I’ve always been troubled that we didn’t have a National Anthem until 1931. That feels wrong.
We sang “My Country” in school as well, and most definitely sounded better singing that than the Star-Spangled Banner. I too was surprised it wasn’t until 1931 it became the Anthem.
Yes, and yes. My thoughts exactly. Best to you, Bruce.
Thank you for this reminder, Jennie! Long may we sing it and long may she wave!
Yes, indeed! 🇺🇸
I really thought it was older than that! I’ve sang it at many ballgames and it bothers me when there’s disrespect during the song (not me singing, but anytime it’s played). I’m not particularly fond of it, but I appreciate its place in our history. I love “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful “. When Dad took us to see Pike’s Peak, he was a history teacher, we talked of our country the entire way to Colorado. I wish that song was our anthem! It touches my heart so much. As my love for the mountains and traveling grew, so did my love for that song. Still, I respect and wish our anthem a happy birthday!
Well said! Disrespecting our National Anthem is terrible. I wish sports players would stand tall and proud when it’s played. The SSB is very hard to sing, and like you I much prefer “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.” How wonderful to hear about your trip to Pikes Peak with your dad! What an experience!!
Thank you, Jennie! I appreciate you allowing me to “digress” and share my thoughts on your post. I’m always learning from you! 💕
Always a pleasure. 🙂
Thank goodness for empathetic mums who put us right 💜
I agree with Berlin, and your anthem always sounds impossible to sing properly when I hear it. But anything has to be better than our national anthem, ‘God Save The King’. It is such a dirge! 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
You’re right on all counts, Pete. I see why you describe your anthem as dirge.
And in the associated historical trivia, FSK’s son Philip Barton Key II would commit adultery with Teresa Sickles, be murdered by her husband, Daniel Sickles, who would get off by deploying the temporary insanity defense for the first time in the United States. Sickles, a Congressman at the time (and you think some of the current ones are bad?) went on to become a Civil War general best known for winning the Medal of Honor for moving his troops into the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg and letting them get slaughtered.
Hmmmm ….. I did not know this, Jennie. I’m stunned our National Anthem is so young.
That’s exactly how I felt. Pretty shocking.
Imagining your reaction made me smile, Jennie. Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs.
I’m so glad! Hugs to you, Teagan.
Our Older generations hold such a lot of information, Oh and I remember that beautiful quilt which you shared that Milly had made…
Have a wonderful Sunday Jennie.. ❤
Yes, they do. I’m glad you remember the quilt, Sue. I dearly miss Milly, she was such a gift to the children.
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Thank you, Michael!
That’s great! Thanks for the information, Jennie! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I hope you have better weather there in NH. xx Michael
Thanks so much, Michael. We had 8″ of snow yesterday. The children will love sledding at school this week!
Didn’t know that–and what a great way to break the news to us luddites!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Let’s follow our blogs. Anita
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Thank you for sharing this! I’m 5 days late, but want to share this with my children anyway!
Thank you, Alyssa!