Star-Spangled History
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Star-Spangled History 

KeyCam and the War of 1812 Interactive Battlefield Maps, two interactive experiences whose purpose is to promote, educate, and inform a wide audience about Francis Scott Key, significant War of 1812 battles in the Chesapeake region, and the upcoming 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Star-Spangled 200 logo

The Star-Spangled 200 Celebration is a three-year state-wide commemoration that kicked-off with an international maritime festival in June 2012. The festivities will reach a crescendo in September 2014, when Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine takes center stage in a Star-Spangled tribute to the defense of a nation and the birth of the National Anthem.

Star-Spangled 200 Commemorative Coin 

2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins On Sale Now!
Celebrate Maryland history by purchasing specially packaged Official 2012 U.S. Mint-Issued Silver Proof Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin.  To learn more, please visit,



Baltimore National Heritage Area Logo1812 Bicentennial Passport & Coin Program
The passport is a commemorative piece that is meant to serve as a keepsake as you visit 1812 sites and visiting ships throughout the Baltimore region from 2012 to 2015. Participating ships and sites will validate your passport with a unique stamp to document the places you have visited. Once you have collected 10 stamps (4 stamps from required locations and 6 additional stamps from attractions or events of your choosing), you will be eligible to receive a commemorative coin as a memento of your War of 1812 Bicentennial journey. The passport is free; however individual sites may have an entrance fee.
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Commemoration Events:

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Star-Spangled Spectacular LogoSeptember 6–16, 2014
By land, sea and air, a ten-day commemoration will culminate on September 14, 2014—the 200th Anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
More info...

The Chesapeake Campaign
Maryland's Chesapeake CampaignSpring 2013 – Summer 2014
The story of Maryland's fight for the nation will be celebrated through the Chesapeake Campaign, a traveling festival featuring re-enactors, hands-on educational activities, performance, food, drink and interactive fun along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.
More info...

Discover The War of 1812 in a New Book

Image of BookIn Full Glory Reflected uncovers stories of devastating raids, bold privateers, citizen soldiers turned into heroic defenders and other gripping stories of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. Includes hundreds of illustrations, historic and modern maps; and a travel guide to locations on the Star Spangled Banner Historic Trail.


Star-Spangled Banner Trail in Maryland   
Star-Spangled Banner Trail MapReturn to the crucial, waning days of the War of 1812, also known as “America’s Second War of Independence,” by following a 100-mile route between Solomons and Baltimore. Along the way, you’ll learn about decisive stands made by American troops against the British invaders, and discover what inspired our National Anthem. Many of these destinations are also part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, which means that bay-based recreational opportunities are easily accessible just beyond the historic landmarks. And from Baltimore, you’re welcome to extend your trip in order to dig deeper into the life of “Star-Spangled Banner” writer Francis Scott Key.

1. Begin in Solomons, a fishing village with fine seafood dining, a sculpture garden and sites offering information about the War of 1812 Chesapeake Campaign. Among these are the Calvert Marine Museum and Solomons Regional Information Center.

2. Off the shore of the present-day Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard, the largest naval battle in Maryland’s history occurred between Commodore Joshua Barney’s “Chesapeake Flotilla” and British blockaders. The 500-acre park hosts re-enactments and has a discovery room.

BREAK TIME: Golfing, fishing and fossil hunting are favorite Southern Maryland pastimes.

3. In August 1814, more than 4,000 enemy troops sailed up the Patuxent River seeking a landing spot. They chose Benedict, a town known as much today for its fishing, sailing and seafood as its War of 1812 history.

4. Upper Marlboro is where the British Army and Navy linked for the first time, preparing an attack on Washington, D.C. Treat yourself to incredible scenery at Patuxent River Park and relaxing horseback riding inside Rosaryville State Park.

BREAK TIME: Concerts, fairs and sporting events all take place at the versatile, Upper Marlboro-based Prince George’s Equestrian Center/Show Place Arena.

5. Sidetrack east into Annapolis, where the Maryland State House dome was used as an observation station. Today, the U.S. Naval Academy Museum holds war artifacts, while sites linked to Francis Scott Key include St. John’s College, which he attended, and the Chase-Lloyd House, where he was married.

6. An ill-prepared American force fought a brave but futile rear-guard action in the vicinity of what is now a waterfront park in Bladensburg.

BREAK TIME: Available along the Anacostia River in Bladensburg are pontoon boat tours and canoe, kayak and rowboat rentals, as well as a public fishing pier.

7. Following the Battle of Bladensburg, a woman from Riverdale Park volunteered slaves to bury the dead. Riversdale, as the woman’s Federal-period plantation home is known, now offers docent-guided tours and holds special events.

8. Washington, D.C. fell without any more fighting. Your route runs around the nation’s capital, taking you up past National Historic Landmarks that are part of the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area. In Laurel, the Montpelier Mansion contains 18th-century artifacts and houses an arts center.

BREAK TIME: Cultural outlets in the College Park, Greenbelt and Beltsville areas range from performing arts venues to an agricultural research center.

9. In September 1814, British troops came ashore in Fort Howard but were beaten back along what is now called the Defender’s Trail.

10. A day later, the British Navy attacking Baltimore was unable to dislodge courageous soldiers occupying Fort McHenry. Witnessing their struggle “by the dawn’s early light,” Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Other sites in Baltimore hold Key’s original manuscript and celebrate the maker of the flag that flew defiantly inside the fort.

BREAK TIME: The historic maritime community of Fells Point is famous for its friendly taverns and fine dining.

Francis Scott Key made his home in Frederick, found west of Baltimore. Look for a monument near Key’s gravesite at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, and also tour a museum dedicated to both Key and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. Swinging around to the Eastern Shore, plan on making your way to St. Michaels – “The Town that Fooled the British.” Residents of this Victorian, waterfront village supposedly avoided destruction during a nighttime naval bombing by hanging lanterns in trees north of town, causing enemy guns to overshoot their targets. Star-Spangled Banner Trail Brochure (Maryland)

People holding large flagThe Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. It connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle for Baltimore, the aftermath of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem. The trail traces American and British troop movements, introduces visitors to communities affected by the war, and highlights the Chesapeake region’s distinctive landscapes and waterways.

Congress established the Star-Spangled Banner Trail in 2008. The trail is one of 19 national historic trails administered by the National Park Service and one of 30 trails in the National Trails System, which includes the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and Appalachian Trail.

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