Red, White and Brew!

 

Next week we’ll all be celebrating our nation’s annual freedom day – July 4th.  A time for family, friends, fireworks and fun.  For me, its tough to realize we’re already at this early summer milestone – (I still have not put away the snow shovels…. Just never know in Clevelburg).  Of course, my FAVORITE part of the Fourth is the FOOD!  I have so many favorites, and I work really hard to get them all in – dogs, burgers, grilled chicken, homemade potato salad, pasta salad, watermelon, deviled eggs – I can go on.  So, with a bunch of days until the fourth, I decided to put together “Steve’s Fun Fourth of July Menu” you can choose from, and still hae time to run out and get the ingredients.  Now, to be honest, if I listed all my favorites, you’d be reading a LONG time – enjoy the recipes, and more importantly, enjoy the 4th. Tons of thanks to countryliving.com for these killer recipes – log on to get the recipe specific slides and ingredient details here:  https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g3380/4th-of-july-recipes/?slide=1 and some beer pairing tips from our friends at www.tasteessence.com.

 


Fresh Corn Cobettes With Basil Butter
With a zesty cayenne pepper seasoning, these little cobs of fresh corn pack a flavorful punch.  Try grilling them for awesome flavor.


Chive Potato Salad
You can never go wrong with potato salad at any cookout but expect this mayo-free version to run out faster than you can flip more hamburgers on the grill.


Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta Salad
Make this easy summer salad your go-to on the 4th of July, featuring a mouthwatering blend of sweet and savory.


Bourbon BBQ Glazed Pork Chops
The secret to this mouthwatering delight lies in the homemade bourbon-infused barbecue sauce. I like mine nice and crispy.


Grilled Hotdogs with Fixin’s
Take your cookout to the next level by topping the summer staple with one of these unexpected ideas. I love hot sauce, stadium mustard, and crisp dill pickle.


Charred Corn Salad
A sprinkling of red onion and a red chili give this smoky corn side some serious bite.  It goes good with just about anything, especially chilled iced tea.


Mini Stars Berry Pies
Top these tiny desserts—filled with raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries—with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I can eat a whole bunch of these rascals.


Bacon Sriracha Potato Salad 
Spice up your classic potato salad recipe with crowd favorites, like bacon and sriracha chili sauce. I should put “not fair” after this one – impossible to eat a little bit!


BBQ Chicken 
What makes this barbecue chicken so delicious is the Italian seasoning and basil that gives it an extra punch of flavor.  Load up on these drumsticks.


Sweet Heat Cheerwine Baby Back Ribs
Smothered on grilled baby back ribs, this Cheerwine glaze is finger-lickin’ good. Better stock up on the napkins – and crank up the HEAT to match your tastebuds.


Aloha Barbecue Sliders
Treat your guests to a sweet and salty treat with mini beef burgers made with pieces of pineapple, Swiss cheese and bacon.  As in – “slide a few of these on to my plate please”


Grilled Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers
Stuffed with cream cheese, sour cream, cilantro and lime, these are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Hard for these to make it from the grill to the kitchen…somehow a few disappear!


Chickpea Baked Beans with Barbecue Bacon Hummus 
Chickpeas and black beans are tasty on their own. Pair them with barbecue bacon hummus, and you’ve got a dish you’ll crave all year long.  Love this twist on baked bean favorite.


Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw
This summer slaw offers the perfect crunch to top off all of your barbecue favorites.  Sweet, tasty, and great with just about anything.


BONUS!  Here is a nice beer pairing recipe guide https://tastessence.com/beers-that-go-well-with-bbq-grilled-foodyou can use as well.  If you find something that work (be sure to experiment but don’t over do it), shoot me an email at skowalski@khtheat.com.

 

 

Red, White and Dads

Flag Day and Father’s Day. Two great reasons to celebrate with family, food and fun!

 

Flag Day and Dads just sort of go together.  Words like Honor, Respect, Leadership, Ideals, Faith and Love come to mind – something we all look up to and cherish.  Today marks the recognition of Flag Day – commemorating the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress, and on Sunday we celebrate our amazing Dad’s on Father’s Day.   At KHT, Father’s Day Is extra special, as we honor our founder and his love of solving customer’s PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!  Below is some cool trivia I found about Flag Day and Father’s Day (thanks Wikipedia and history.com) Enjoy, and be sure to connect with Dad this weekend, or remember him in your prayers – and for each, give thanks, for we are truly blessed to have both in our lives.

 

Flag Day

  1. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1, § 110[4] is the official statute on Flag Day, making it at the president’s discretion to officially proclaim the observance.
  2. On June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale.
  3. Perhaps the oldest continuing Flag Day parade is in Fairfield, Washington.  Beginning in 1909 or 1910, Fairfield has held a parade every year since. Appleton, Wisconsin, claims to be the oldest National Flag Day parade in the nation, held annually since 1950.
  4. The largest Flag Day parade is held annually in Troy, New York, which bases its parade on the Quincy parade and typically draws 50,000 spectators.  In addition, the Three Oaks, Michigan, Flag Day Parade is held annually on the weekend of Flag Day and is a three-day event (they too claim to have the largest flag day parade in the nation as well as the oldest).
  5. In Washington, D.C., Flag Day is celebrated heavily through the 7th and 8th Wards of the city. It is said that Clyde Thompson is the “Godfather of Flag Day”. It is tradition in these wards to slow smoke various meats and vegetables. Click HERE for great smoker recipies.

Several people and/or organizations played instrumental roles in the establishment of a national Flag Day celebration. They are identified here in chronological order.

  1. 1861, Victor Morris of Hartford, Conn., is popularly given the credit of suggesting “Flag Day,” the occasion being in honor of the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777. The city of Hartford observed the day in 1861, carrying out a program of a patriotic order, praying for the success of the Federal arms and the preservation of the Union.  The observance apparently did not become a tradition.
  2. 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand – working as a grade school teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, in 1895, Cigrand held the first recognized formal observance of Flag Day at the Stony Hill School. From the late 1880s on, Cigrand spoke around the country promoting patriotism, respect for the flag, and the need for the annual observance of a flag day on June 14, the day in 1777 that the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes.  In June 1888, Cigrand advocated establishing the holiday in a speech before the “Sons of America,” a Chicago group and founded a magazine, American Standard, in order to promote reverence for American emblems. Cigrand became president of the American Flag Day Association and later of the National Flag Day Society, which allowed him to promote his cause with organizational backing, and once noted he had given 2,188 speeches on patriotism and the flag.
  3. 1888, William T. Kerr – a native of Pittsburgh and later a resident of Yeadon, Pennsylvania, founded the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania in 1888, and became the national chairman of the American Flag Day Association one year later, serving as such for fifty years. He attended President Harry S. Truman’s 1949 signing of the Act of Congress that formally established the observance.
  4. 1893, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie – In 1893, Gillespie, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin and the president of the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, attempted to have a resolution passed requiring the American flag to be displayed on all Philadelphia’s public buildings.  In 1937, Pennsylvania became the first state to make Flag Day a legal holiday.
  5. 1907, BPOE – the American fraternal order and social club the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has celebrated the holiday since the early days of the organization and allegiance to the flag is a requirement of every member.  In 1907, the BPOE Grand Lodge designated by resolution June 14 as Flag Day.  The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order’s observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression.
  6. 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt – launched an international “United Flag Day” or “United Nations Day”, celebrating solidarity among the World War II Allies, six months after the Declaration by United Nations.  It was observed in New York City as the “New York at War” parade, and throughout the United States and internationally from 1942-1944.
  7. The Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia – The week of June 14 (June 10–16, 2018; June 09–15, 2019; June 14–20, 2020) is designated as “National Flag Week.” During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all government buildings. Some organizations, such as the town of Dedham, Massachusetts, hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents.
  8. The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June (June 10, 2018; June 09, 2019; June 14, 2020). The program includes a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, a parade and other events.
  9. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland birthplace of the flag that a year later inspired Francis Scott Key (1779–1843), to pen his famous poem, has celebrated Flag Day since the inception of a museum in the home of flag-banner-pennant maker Mary Pickersgill on the historic property in 1927.
  10. On June 14, 2017, President Donald Trump, who was coincidentally born on Flag Day 1946, proclaimed Flag Day and Flag Week.

Father’s Day

  1. The “Mother’s Day” we celebrate today has its origins in the peace-and-reconciliation campaigns of the post-Civil War era. During the 1860s, at the urging of activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, one divided West Virginia town celebrated “Mother’s Work Days” that brought together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers.
  2. However, Mother’s Day did not become a commercial holiday until 1908, when–inspired by Jarvis’s daughter, Anna Jarvis, who wanted to honor her own mother by making Mother’s Day a national holiday–the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia sponsored a service dedicated to mothers in its auditorium.
  3. Thanks in large part to this association with retailers, who saw great potential for profit in the holiday, Mother’s Day caught on right away. In 1909, 45 states observed the day, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution that made the second Sunday in May a holiday in honor of “that tender, gentle army, the mothers of America.”
  4. The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”
  5. The present celebration of the Father’s Day goes back to the time of Middle Ages when the celebration of fatherhood was done with a customary day in the Catholic Europe that was observed on 19th March. The day was celebrated as the feast day of Saint Joseph who is known as the fatherly Nutritor Domini or the “Nourisher of the Lord” in the Catholic Community and is “the putative father of Jesus” in the southern European tradition. The festival was later brought to Americans by the Spanish and Portuguese whereas in Latin American countries, the occasion is still celebrated on 19th March.
  6. On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday.
  7. The next year, a Spokane, Washington, woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.
  8. Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day.
  9. During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park–a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.”
  10. Paradoxically, however, the Great Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards.
  11. When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.
  12. In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.
  13. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.
  14. The Father’s Day is celebrated across the world with the objective of realizing and honoring the contribution of fathers in the society. It is a day which celebrates the fatherhood, paternal bonds and the efforts of male parents towards their family and society. The day is meant to recall, recognize and remember the endless efforts, initiatives and contributions of all the fathers around us. Father’s Day is an occasion to honor all the fatherly figures like stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles or even big brothers.

Thanks Dads!

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Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stars and Stripes Forever

From Betsy Ross to Buzz Aldren to our hometown streets, our flag has so much meaning to us. It’s our common bond. It’s our badge of honor. Representing the freedoms, opportunities and choices we’re all guaranteed to have.

 

This past week I had the pleasure of celebrating the Fourth of July with friends and family.  I go all in of course – all the classics of food, fun and drinks, and of course fireworks.  In my small community, we have a tradition called Bay Days, where a traveling carnival comes to town – rides, arcade games, dunk tanks, live concerts, politicians walking about, car shows, an old vintage baseball game and a whole bunch of local clubs and organizations selling everything from grilled Italian sausage – golden brown with yummy sweet peppers and caramelized onions, on a crunchy roll topped with spicy mustard wrapped in aluminum foil of course – (not that I enjoyed one or two or….??), Boy Scout’s selling ice cream, Men’s Club pizza, Kiwanis curly fries, and classic sugar-coated waffle cakes.  Unlike most people who come mostly for the rides – I’m not conflicted at all between the food and the entertainment.  It’s all about the food – just ask Jackie!  From the park where all of this fun takes place, I can see downtown, the amazing sunset over Lake Erie, and the American Flag flying over City Hall.  It got me to thinking how lucky we are in our county to live and work together with so many people of all backgrounds, ages and beliefs, all under one meaningful flag. I did a little searching and found some cool trivia about our glorious flag.  Special thanks to pbs.com for the trivia. Enjoy.

The history of our flag is as fascinating as that of the American Republic itself. It has survived battles, inspired songs and evolved in response to the growth of the country it represents. The following is a collection of interesting facts and customs about the American flag and how it is to be displayed.

  1. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag for the new nation. The resolution stated: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
  2. The origin of the first American flag is unknown. Some historians believe it was designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross.Perhaps the best-known figure from the American Revolutionary era who wasn’t a president, general or statesman, Betsy Ross (1752-1836) became a patriotic icon in the late 19th century when stories surfaced that she had sewn the first “stars and stripes” U.S. flag in 1776. Though that story is likely apocryphal, Ross is known to have sewn flags during the Revolutionary War.
  3. The name Old Glorywas given to a large, 10-by-17-foot flag by its owner, William Driver, a sea captain from Massachusetts. Inspiring the common nickname for all American flags, Driver’s flag is said to have survived multiple attempts to deface it during the Civil War. Driver was able to fly the flag over the Tennessee Statehouse once the war ended. The flag is a primary artifact at the National Museum of American History and was last displayed in Tennessee by permission of the Smithsonian at an exhibition in 2006.
  4. Between 1777 and 1960 Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
  5. Today the flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
  6. The National Museum of American History has undertaken a long-term preservation project of the enormous 1814 garrison flag that survived the 25-hour shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore by British troops and inspired Francis Scott Key to compose “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Often referred to by that name, the flag had become soiled and weakened over time and was removed from the museum in December 1998. This preservation effort began in earnest in June 1999 and continues to this day. The flag is now stored at a 10-degree angle in a special low-oxygen, filtered light chamber and is periodically examined at a microscopic level to detect signs of decay or damage within its individual fibers.
  7. After a British bombardment, amateur poet Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry that he wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sept. 14, 1814. It officially became our national anthem in 1931.
  8. In 1892, the flag inspired James B. Upham and Francis Bellamy to write The Pledge of Allegiance. It was first published in a magazine called The Youth’s Companion.
  9. In 1909, Robert Peary placed an American flag, sewn by his wife, at the North Pole. He also left pieces of another flag along the way. It is the only time a person has been honored for cutting the flag.
  • On Aug. 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman officially declared June 14 as Flag Day.
  • In 1963, Barry Bishop placed the American flag on top of Mount Everest.
  • In July 1969, the American flag was “flown” in space when Neil Armstrong placed it on the moon. Flags were placed on the lunar surface on each of six manned landings during the Apollo program.
  • The first time the American flag was flown overseas on a foreign fort was in Libya, over Fort Derne, on the shores of Tripoli in 1805.

Some tips on how to proudly display the Stars and Stripes:

  1. There are a few locations where the U.S. flag is flown 24 hours a day, by either presidential proclamation or by law:
  • Fort McHenry, National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Flag House Square, Baltimore, Maryland
  • United States Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington, Virginia
  • On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts
  • The White House, Washington, D.C.
  • United States customs ports of entry
  • Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge
  1. The flag is usually displayed from sunrise to sunset. It should be raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously. In inclement weather, the flag should not be flown.
  2. The flag should be displayed daily, and on all holidays, weather permitting, on or near the main administration buildings of all public institutions. It should also be displayed in or near every polling place on election days and in or near every schoolhouse during school days.
  3. When displayed flat against a wall or a window, or in a vertical orientation, the “union” field of stars should be uppermost and to the left of the observer.
  4. When the flag is raised or lowered as part of a ceremony, and as it passes by in parade or review, everyone, except those in uniform, should face the flag with the right hand over the heart.
  5. The U.S. flag should never be dipped toward any person or object, nor should the flag ever touch anything beneath it.

 

John Wayne Recites and Explains the Pledge of Allegiance (1972) CLICK HERE

 

 


 

“Yea, That’s My Country too!”

(row one left) Francis Scott Key. (row one top right) The first sheet-music issue of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was printed by Thomas Carr’s Music store in Baltimore in 1814. (row one bottom right) The flag over Ft. McHenry (painter unknown) (row two left) 120,868,500 commemorative postage stamps were issued August 9, 1948. One of these in mint condition is worth around 60 cents today. 15 cents for a used one. (row two right) an engraving of a younger Francis Scott Key. They probably called him Frankie. (row three) The original Fort McHenry flag (15 stars and 15 stripes) measured 30 feet by 42 feet. It’s being preserved and restored in Washington, DC. (row four) Glorious isn’t it?

 

We’ve all been lucky to watch an amazing Olympic competition these past few weeks, with athletes from all over the world doing amazing things on the ice and snow.  Each one, of course, has their own story – some competing for the first time, some competing in their third of fourth Olympics (can you imagine) and others wrapping up their Olympic careers.  Consistently, every athlete talked about sacrifice, hardship and overcoming the odds, with a small few prevailing to stand on the podium, medal on chest, tears on their cheeks and hand over heart, proudly representing their county while listening to their respective national anthem.  I don’t know about you, but I feel really proud when the anthem plays, and get choked up seeing the athletes realize their accomplishments.

We all know our “official” USA anthem is the Star Spangled-Banner, but what you probably didn’t know is it took 40 attempts to get it through Congress (talk about perseverance) – tomorrow, March 3th is the anniversary of the adoption of the anthem.  For my trivia buds, here’s some interesting history and cool trivia about the great anthem we’ve all come to know as the strength and sound of the United States of America. Enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia, historian Mark Leepson and History.com for the info.

 

  1. A song is written.  By the dawn’s early light on September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key peered through a spyglass and spotted an American flag still waving over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry after a fierce night of British bombardment. In a patriotic fervor, the man called “Frank” Key by family and friends penned the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When he composed his verses, he intended them to accompany a popular song of the day. “We know he had the tune in mind because the rhyme and meter exactly fit it,” says Marc Leepson, author of the Key biography “What So Proudly We Hailed.” The first broadside of the verses, printed just days after the battle, noted that the words should be sung to the melody of “To Anacreon in Heaven.” (ironically an English song composed in 1775 that served as the theme song of the upper-crust Anacreontic Society of London and a popular pub staple).  Key was quite familiar with the tune, having used it to accompany an 1805 poem, which included a reference to a “star-spangled flag,” he had written to honor Barbary War naval heroes Stephen Decatur and Charles Stewart.
  2. Key was not imprisoned on a British warship when he penned his verses.  In his capacity as a Washington, D.C., lawyer, Key had been dispatched by President James Madison on a mission to Baltimore to negotiate for the release of Dr. William Beanes, a prominent surgeon captured at the Battle of Bladensburg. Accompanied by John Stuart Skinner, a fellow lawyer working for the State Department, Key set sail on an American sloop in Baltimore Harbor, and on September 7 the pair boarded the British ship Tonnant, where they dined and secured the prisoner’s release under one condition—they could not go ashore until after the British attacked Baltimore. Accompanied by British guards on September 10, Key returned to the American sloop from which he witnessed the bombardment behind the 50-ship British fleet.
  3. The flag Key “hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming” did not fly “through the perilous fight.” In addition to a thunderstorm of bombs, a torrent of rain fell on Fort McHenry throughout the night of the Battle of Baltimore. The fort’s 30-by-42-foot garrison flag was so massive that it required 11 men to hoist when dry, and if waterlogged the woolen banner could have weighed upwards of 500 pounds and snapped the flagpole. So as the rain poured down, a smaller storm flag that measured 17-by-25 feet flew in its place. In the morning, experts believe, they most likely took down the rain-soaked storm flag and hoisted the bigger one … and that’s the flag Key saw in the morning.
  4. The song was not originally entitled “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When Key scrawled his lyrics on the back of a letter he pulled from his pocket on the morning of September 14, he did not give them any title. Within a week, Key’s verses were printed on broadsides and in Baltimore newspapers under the title “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” In November, a Baltimore music store printed the patriotic song with sheet music for the first time under the more lyrical title “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
  5. The national anthem has four verses.  The version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” traditionally sung on patriotic occasions and at sporting events is only the song’s first verse. All four verses conclude with the same line: “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” In 1861, poet Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a fifth verse to support the Union cause in the Civil War and denounce “the traitor that dares to defile the flag of her stars.
  6. Key opposed American entry into the War of 1812.  Ironically, the man who created one of the lasting patriotic legacies of the War of 1812 adamantly opposed the conflict at its outset. Key referred to the war as “abominable” and “a lump of wickedness.” However, his opposition to the war softened after the British began to raid nearby Chesapeake Bay communities in 1813 and 1814, and he briefly served in a Georgetown wartime militia.
  7. Key was a consummate Washington insider.  Although Key loathed politics, he was a prominent figure in Washington, D.C. –  an important player in the early republic, He was a very successful and influential lawyer at the highest levels in Washington.  Key ran a thriving law practice, served as a trusted advisor in Andrew Jackson’s “Kitchen Cabinet” and was appointed a United States Attorney in 1833. He prosecuted hundreds of cases, including that of Richard Lawrence for the attempted assassination of Court.
  8. Key was a one-hit wonder who might have been tone deaf.  Key was much more adept in his legal day job than he was as an amateur poet. Most of the odes he composed were never meant to be seen beyond family and friends, and none came remotely close to realizing the popular fame of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In addition to being a middling poet, Key also had a hard time carrying a tune. “Key’s family said he was not musical,” Leepson says, “which means he likely was tone deaf.”
  9. It did not become the national anthem until more than a century after it was written. Along with “Hail Columbia” and “Yankee Doodle,” “The Star-Spangled Banner” was among the prevalent patriotic airs in the aftermath of the War of 1812. During the Civil War, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was an anthem for Union troops, and the song increased in popularity in the ensuing decades, which led to President Woodrow Wilson signing an executive order in 1916 designating it as “the national anthem of the United States” for all military ceremonies.
  10. Song becomes national anthem.  On March 3, 1931, after 40 previous attempts failed, a measure passed Congress and was signed into law that formally designated “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem of the United States.
  11. The flag restored and on display.  Nearly two centuries later, the flag that inspired Key still survives, though fragile and worn by the years. Experts at the National Museum of American History completed an eight-year conservation treatment with funds from Polo Ralph Lauren, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Congress.  With the construction of the conservation lab completed in 1999, conservators clipped 1.7 million stitches from the flag to remove a linen backing that had been added in 1914, lifted debris from the flag using dry cosmetic sponges and brushed it with an acetone-water mixture to remove soils embedded in fibers. Finally, they added a sheer polyester backing to help support the flag.  Said Brent D. Glass, the Museum’s Director – “The Star-Spangled Banner is a symbol of American history that ranks with the Statue of Liberty and the Charters of Freedom,” “The fact that it has been entrusted to the National Museum of American History is an honor.”