Mr. Key's Poem: Our National Anthem

Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
326 West Francis Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States 326 West Francis Street Williamsburg 23185


  • Included in museum admission: $Included in museum admission

“Oh say can you see” are the familiar and powerful first words of a poem written by 35 year old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814. The poem, inspired by the Battle of Baltimore eventually became America's national Anthem. Join Francis Scott Key as he recounts the events that inspired his hand and musicians Kelly Kennedy and John Turner as they share popular songs from the first quarter of the 19th century. Discover the history of the tune and the words that did not become our official national anthem until 1931, amidst considerable controversy and opposition, especially from the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Included in museum admission.