Today’s American Minute

By Bill Federer

Sent to negotiate the release of an American doctor, the enemy detained him all night on a ship. It was Sept. 13, 1814. He watched the British fleet mercilessly bombard Fort McHenry from a distance, as Chesapeake Bay had been blocked by sunken ships. This was just two weeks after the British burned the Capitol. The next morning, “through the dawn’s early light,” this young lawyer, Francis Scott Key, saw the American flag still flying. Elated, he penned the Star-Spangled Banner, which states in its fourth verse: “May the Heav’n-rescued land Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!”