Fort McHenry was the site of a British attack during the turbulent War of 1812. It was also the location where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the Star-Spangled Banner in honor of the courageous efforts of brave soldiers and the flag that flew over the harbor. The strategic fort has even seen action in several other major wars since then!
Fort McHenry first opened as Fort Whetstone in 1776. It was redesigned and named Fort McHenry in 1798, after James McHenry, a notable soldier and surgeon as well as a signer of the U.S. Constitution.
This Baltimore fort saw action during the War of 1812 when British forces bombarded the area for over 24 hours. This was when Francis Scott Key was detained on the British ship in the harbor. During his brief imprisonment, he watched the flag fly over the fort and harbor and was inspired to write the “Star-Spangled Banner”.
The fort later saw service during the Civil War as a Union encampment used to detain Confederate soldiers. Fort McHenry was later used as an Army hospital during World War I and a Coast Guard base during World War II.
Today, Fort McHenry is preserved as a National Monument and is open for tours.
Fort McHenry is located at 2400 E Fort Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland.
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