Greetings from Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine

I teach in Baltimore. Often my students are from very deprived circumstances. They have very little prior knowledge and U.S. History is not a familiar subject to many. I teach a unit on the War of 1812 especially as it relates to Baltimore. We end the unit with a trip to Fort McHenry. It is ALWAYS a hit. Students love the openness, the views, the fort itself. I show them the areas in the bay where the British ships were anchored. They learn the words to the Star Spangled Banner and actually get to sing along with the anthem after the movie. They go into the underground power rooms, explore the barracks, admire the cannons and image what it must have been like for the soldiers being bombarded through the night. They love it. When I have only a few students I will often just take them for a quick visit to the park to just enjoy the views. It is a national treasure and very much a part of our history. Imagine if he had not be designated a National Park!

Eugenie Jenkins

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine

During the War of 1812, British forces sailed to Baltimore, Maryland, intent on attacking the city. But Baltimore was defended by Fort McHenry — a star-shaped fort perfectly situated on the Baltimore Harbor. On the morning of September 13, 1814, the British navy attacked the fort for 25 hours. Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment from a ship in Baltimore harbor and expressed his gratitude and relief at the victory in a poem that became "The Star-Spangled Banner."

State(s): Maryland

Established: 1925

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