Today marks the 200th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Baltimore. It was on this day that Francis Scott Key watched the American flag being raised over Fort Henry and was inspired to write a poem that would eventually become our national anthem.
The new exhibit, Congress and the War of 1812, Part 1, at the Capitol Visitor Center is on display until October 2014. We’ll post highlights from the new exhibit all week.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” a song based on a poem by Francis Scott Key, was inspired by the American flag during the War of 1812. In April 1930 the House of Representatives passed the bill introduced by Representative John Linthicum of Maryland to make “The Star-Spangled Banner” the nation’s anthem. Despite critics who disliked the melody or felt the law unnecessary, the Senate passed the bill the following year, and President Herbert Hoover signed it into law on March 2, 1931.
H.R. 14, To Make The Star-Spangled Banner the National Anthem of the United States of America, 4/21/1930, Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration
STARVE THE SQUANDER BUG. BUY MORE WAR BONDS
From the series: World War II Posters, compiled 1942 - 1945; Records of the Office of Government Reports, 1932 - 1947
Born 110th years ago on March 2, 1904, illustrator and author Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, designed the “Squander Bug” for World War II propaganda posters, inspired by a British creation of the same name.
During the war Seuss also worked on Army training films, such as those featuring the bumbling Private SNAFU.
Bringing Battle to the Home Front: With the Marines at Tarawa
Will you be watching the Oscars this Sunday? Did you know that a number of films produced by the United States government were nominated or won Academy Awards? One such film is With the Marines at Tarawa, which brought the experience of a major battle to the American public and consequently won the 1945 Academy Award for best documentary short.
With the Marines at Tarawa hit theaters March 2nd, 1944. Sunday’s Oscar broadcast marks the 70th anniversary of the film’s release.
The Unites States Marine Corps fought the Battle of Tarawa over four days in November, 1943. At the end of the battle, nearly a thousand Marines were dead, and over two thousand were wounded. Of those holding the island, there were nearly 4700 casualties. Only seventeen Japanese soldiers surrendered; of about a thousand Korean forced laborers, 129 survived the battle.
Beyond the strategic value of the victory, the battle is significant today because so much of it was caught on film by our combat cameramen. Seeing the footage made the experience real for those on the home front, and serves as a record of the horror of war for those of us who watch it now.
With the Marines at Tarawa was carefully crafted to bring viewers into the experience, from the somber mood during preparation, through the chaos of battle, the overwhelming sadness of counting and caring for the dead, and the sense of accomplishment as the American flag was raised on the island.
In addition, the film focuses on how lives were saved by competent medical personnel and the possibility of blood transfusions, a fact that would have provided hope to those with loved ones on the front lines. Viewers are left with a sense of grief, as well as patriotism in knowing that “our boys” were bravely fighting this “war we did not want.”
"Sounds harmless enough. Innocent stuff. But let’s take a look in, and find out what’s cookin’…"
Happy 110th Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to many as children’s author Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904. During World War II, Geisel contributed to the war effort through the production of instructional and cautionary cartoons featuring the negligent and aptly named Private Snafu, many with Seuss’ trademark rhyming and wordplay.
Watch more in the Private Snafu playlist on the U.S. National Archives YouTube Channel:
The Battle of Bismarck Sea, March 2, 1943
Japanese attempts to check Allied advances in New Guinea during World War II were frustrated when their convoy of reinforcements was intercepted and destroyed by coordinated air assaults by American and Australian forces.
From: APPOINTMENT IN TOKYO