Tamara Keith on the scene in 1814. Sort of.
Leif Parsons for NPR
August 21, 2014 Two hundred years ago this week, invading British troops destroyed the White House and the U.S. Capitol. NPR wasn't there, but if we were, our coverage might have sounded something like this ...
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American lawyer Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a boat about 8 miles away.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
July 4, 2013 Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the ballad after witnessing the Battle for Baltimore in 1814. According to author Steve Vogel, after it was published, Key's composition took the country by storm. But it didn't become the national anthem until more than 100 years later.
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