The first lines of the Star-Spangled Banner poem were penned by Francis Scott Key, a thirty-five year old lawyer/poet, on September 14, 1814, after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, in the war of 1812.
Key’s poem/song became a big hit almost immediately. Within a week of the battle, it was printed under the title of “Defense of Fort McHenry” in newspapers all over the U.S. A music printer soon took the liberty of changing the title to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The song remained popular throughout the 1800’s and was often played at military ceremonies. In 1931, Congress passed a bill adopting it as our National Anthem and President Herbert Hoover signed it into law.
Interestingly, Francis Scott Key put the words to a familiar drinking song at the time, “The Anacreontic Song“, also known by its incipit “To Anacreon in Heaven“. The lyrics are credited to “British” lyricist, Ralph Tomlinson (1744-1778), and the tune is commonly attributed to “British” composer John Stafford Smith (1750-1836). The song, also known as “The Drinking Song”, was written sometime between 1773 and 1776 and was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen’s club of amateur musicians in London. Anacreon’s songs often celebrated women, wine, and entertaining.
A candidate in a high-stakes legislative contest in Virginia had sex with her husband in live videos posted on a pornographic website and asked viewers to pay them money in return for carrying out specific sex acts.
Screenshots of Susanna Gibson, a Democrat running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates that appeared on the website were shared with the Associated Press.