Star-Spangled Banner Manuscript Will Join Flag At Smithsonian

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Its home is the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, but the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner is about to leave town for a little while.

Ron Matz has more on a road trip to remember for a priceless piece of American history.

Seeing Francis Scott Key’s original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner at the Maryland Historical Society is thrilling.  But next month, the handwritten lyrics will join another American icon at the Smithsonian.

“The manuscript is actually going to be put in the case with the Star-Spangled Banner flag.  The two of them together are going to be quite a scene,” said Burt Kummerow, President and CEO of the Maryland Historical Society. “I think this is going to be a real life-changing experience for some people because these are two icons that are right at the source of the American ideals in American history.”

Key wrote his heartfelt words during the bombardment of Fort McHenry and put the finishing touches on it in a pub.

Key’s original manuscript will make another road trip in September.  It will be heading to Fort McHenry for the Star-Spangled Spectacular celebration.

“We feel it’s really important to take it down there when all the celebrations are occurring.  People can actually see it there,” said Kummerow.

The words, written by the dawn’s early light, stir a passion.

Key’s manuscript will be on loan to the Smithsonian from Flag Day on June 14 through July 6.

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