In Baltimore Harbor in 1814, the British Navy prepared an assault for a devastating blow to the young United States of America in the War of 1812. Many felt that the taking of Fort McHenry would mean an end to the United States, and a return of the territory to be ruled by “The Crown” once again. Francis Scott Key, a young ambassador and poet, was invited on board the British Ship HMS Tonnant to negotiate the exchange of prisoners. Francis Scott Key witnessed an all night barrage on the fort by the Navy with little hope of an American victory. As the smoke cleared the next morning September 16, 1814, the United States Flag was still waving atop the fort, and Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem, “ The Defense of Fort McHenry” which became the United States National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Francis Scott Key was placed off-shore in a U.S. truce ship near Fort McHenry, and was inspired to write the four-stanza poem he originally titled "The Defence of Fort McHenry", which later was set to music and named the "The Star-Spangled Banner", and adopted as the United States national anthem in 1931.