"The Star-Spangled Banner" was ordered played by the military and naval services by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. It was designated the national anthem by Act of Congress, March 3, 1931. It was written by Francis Scott Key of Georgetown, Maryland, during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, September 13-14, 1814.

The Star-Spangled Banner (first verse of four)

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
     What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
     O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
     Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
     O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


"America, the Beautiful" was composed by Katharine Lee Bates, a Massachusetts educator and author, in 1893. It was inspired by the view Bates experienced atop Pike's Peak in Colorado. Its final form was established in 1911 and is set to the music of Samuel A. Ward's "Materna."

America, the Beautiful (first verse of four)

     O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain.
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.