Jimi Hendrix & The Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Jim Hendrix

(Photos this page public domain)
(Photos this page public domain)
Recorded by the Smithsonian Institution.
Recorded by the Smithsonian Institution.

Star Spangled Banner Commemoration

232 years after the first signing of the Declaration of Independence by just 2 men, Senator Benjamin L. Cardin from Maryland and Representative Chris Van Hollen completed a partnership with the United States National Park Service and its efficient employees and supervisors in Prince George's County MD.

Together, they announced a Federal Grant for $100,000 to build and develop The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail through Maryland.

The American National Anthem was not written when the New Nation first formed. It was not produced until the War of 1812, 36 years later when the British struck again.

The Federal Grant, first envisioned in 2003, allows The Star Spangled Banner to join the ranks of The Underground Railroad and others in their commemoration as America's greatest moments in history, as depicted and preserved by the National Park Service, conceived in the early 1900s.

Endpoints of Byways on the Trail

show route and directions
A markerElkton MD -
Elkton, MD, USA
[get directions]

B markerBaltimore MD -
Baltimore, MD, USA
[get directions]

C markerBlandensburg MD -
Bladensburg, MD, USA
[get directions]

D markerFort Washington VA -
Fort Washington, MD, USA
[get directions]

E markerTangier Island -
Tangier Island, 2, VA, USA
[get directions]

The Chesapeake Bay Campaign of the War Of 1812 - 1814

Not established until the year 2008 by the American Congress, the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail opened as a 560- mile-long land route and waterway route. It connects national historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia (Washington DC).

This long historical trail takes travelers through many of the eventful places that payed parts in the War of 1812 - 1814, showcasing the natural landscape along the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, USA

A markerChesapeake Bay -
Chesapeake Bay, United States
[get directions]

Jimi Hendrix

A POW Wrote the Anthem

Our anthem, The Star Spangled Banner," is sung to the tune of a pub song To Anacreon in Heaven. it is surprising how many times that drinking songs are borrowed for other genres in the world of music and theater. In the past, many people has denigrated the American National Anthem as pathetic and low class because the melody came from a pub. Music is music, no matter its origins. it did not have to stay a drinking song and it's ahd many variations (see the Jimi Hendricks vid).

The anthem itself is from a poem written by Francis Scott Key, entitled Defense of Ft. McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. Key was a POW.

Mr. Key heard about England's strategy an attack on Baltimore MD. He was riding a British ship that was flying a truce flag at the time. Very duplicitous, indeed. it was all about attempting to compromise on the release of a Baltimore physician that had been held captive as a POW. Apparently, the Brits intended to keep Key captive.

With POWs in tow, the English waged war on Fort McHenry. They attacked all night, and the Americans withstood the onslaught without fail.

In the morning light, Key saw the US Flag still flying; the Brits had not shot it down. Filled with hop and probably pride, the poet wrote his verse about the flag that still stood. It was not chosen as a national anthem until 1916, under President Woodrow Wilson. It was not confirmed by US Congress until later, in 1931.

Thus is took 155 for America to choose a national anthem and about the same length of time to start a National Park Service and to begin commemorating important histories of the US and her diverse populations. Later still, the National Museum of the American Indian was not opened until 2005 - 229 years after the Declaration of Independence was first signed and about 500 years after Europeans first claimed native lands for themselves.

Learn more here: US History - Foundation Documents and Flags

Flag of the 3rd Maryland Regiment, 1777

Path of the Trail

The long commemorative Trail moves through the towns of Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's and Prince George's counties in Maryland (all good places for seeking fast growing employment, by the way), Alexandria VA, Washington DC, and Baltimore MD, the site of Old Glory herself as she survived the battle.

The trail does not proceed up to the Great Lakes Region, where many additional major battles were held and American captives taken to England. It stays in the Bay area of Virginia. This trail will hopefully bolster local economies further, by drawing new tourist trade and many new businesses to spring up in the area. These venues will all need more workers of all ages.

The trail includes the sites of the Battle of St. Leonard's Creek, the Battle of Bladensburg, the Raid on Alexandria, and the Battle of Baltimore at Ft. McHenry.

The War of 1812 (- 1814) was the final battle, really of the American Revolution, the English not previously willing to accept defeat and the loss of the 13 Colonies. However, in 1814, they were finished, except for 1000s of American prisoners kept in Dartmoor Prison in England until 2015. The British had insisted upon drafting Americans into the Brtish Navy as well - and America had had enough, finally.

Other importan5t historic sites along the Trail include the Burning of Washington (DC). It is remembered that First Lady Dolley Madison saved the original US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and a portrait of George Washington. She deserves her own commemoration for that.

A regional extravaganza began along the Trail sites and major cities in 2012, to last through at least 2014. It commemorated 200 years of final freedom from an old oppression.

More by this Author

Experiences and Trivia 11 comments

LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

I never knew all of these things about our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Thank you so much for sharing this, and at such an appropriate time of year.



JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Psssst...Patty....you know I LOVE your hubs, but Jimi's last name is spelled H-E-N-D-R-I-X (with an "X"), not Hendricks.

sandhyap profile image

sandhyap 8 years ago

Dear Patty,

I really such type of information as i am very fond of historical facts.

ProCW profile image

ProCW 8 years ago from South Carolina

Very good. :) Didn't know Henricks was Hendrix. We all learn something new every day. Also didn't know that it had to do with the war of 1812. I guess I wasn't paying attention in US History class on that day. I had a very monotonic history teacher, though. :) Great work Patti English, MS! :)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

100 points to JamaGenee!

And thanks, ProoXY :)

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

If you ever do a hub that includes Stevie Ray Vaughan, remember the "a" between "h" and "n". (Betcha you can't tell I've been around a few musicians who idolized SRV and Jimi...AND Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson.) =)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Gee, that's good to know. My friend and colleague in Michigan used to play same ticket as Question Mark and The Mysterians. He still performs during holidays. He loves Clapton's music. 

Jillian 7 years ago

What a nice tribute to America! I love anything that represents patriotic. You've achieved that.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Cool, isn't it?

Raymond Simoneau 7 years ago

I enjoyed reading your information on the National anthem/Star spangled banner. However, to place Hendrix's version under the text "In the past, many people has denigrated the American National Anthem as pathetic and low class because the melody came from a pub" is not truly giving it the props it deserves. The era it came from was so full of despair and pain from the war and people should realize when hearing it that Jimi was expressing the pain and disgust of the bombing of peoples half way around the world. Again I enjoyed reading your very informative discussion of the song and its origins. I would like to hear it in its original version!

Sam Hopkins  7 years ago

Raymond, didn't you listen to the Tor Hershman version? That is the song in its original version and it sounds like that Tor dude may of had a brew or two.

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