How many Americans can tell you the story behind the symbols of history?

Celebrating the symbols of American history: The Star Spangled Banner and the Battle of Baltimore

This weekend marks the 200th anniversary of a notable event in American history.  Other than the website of the national park that is commemorating the event, there's not much conversation to be found.

If I asked 10 people the significance of September 14th, 1814, I would be surprised if more than one person could answer correctly. 

Does anyone study history anymore?

From studying history in school I remember names and dates on a timeline. History is more than just memorizing a date.  Throuhout my life I have visited many historic sites to learn more about the events associated with the famous names and dates.

I recall a volunteer tour guide at a historic site lamenting that Americans really don't know much about history.  The guide was a World War II veteran who was sharing his personal insights and perspectives of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II.

There are many symbols in our lives that we accept, without knowing why. As a parent I often took my kids to many historic sites to give some meaning to those names and dates on a timeline.

In the aftermath of the terrorism of September 2001, I wanted to take our family somewhere to reflect on the price America has paid for freedom. We visited Fort McHenry in Baltimore, the birthplace of our National Anthem.

Before every sporting event and many other social gatherings we rise for the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner. But how many Americans can tell you the story behind the song?

The 200th anniversary of the story behind the symbol

Those who say we celebrate September 14th, 1814 as the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner are missing the story behind the symbol.

Francis Scott Key was an American prisoner on a British ship who saw the large American flag still flying above Fort McHenry's ramparts.   On the morning of the September 14th, 1814, inspired by the American flag waving above Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key would write that "the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Key's poem "Defence of Fort McHenry"  is a first hand account of the young American republic as they held their ground over Britain in The Battle of Baltimore.

Internet goes crazy over 'Orange Is The New Black' cancellation hoax


World goes crazy over Orange Is The New Black bogus newsLast weekend the internet was buzzing over the news that the Netflix comedy-drama series 'Orange Is The New Black' was cancelled.

Twitter was going crazy with comments and outrage over the cancellation.  Adding to the insanity was the fact that the article by Empire News last Friday "Netflix Pulls Plug On Orange Is The New Black"  was bogus.  Empire News is one of a new genre of websites that does not report news, it creates news, purposely bogus news.

You might recall that a year ago when news of Paul Walker's tragic accident was being reported there was quite a bit of confusion because the day before the real accident involving Paul Walker took place there was a bogus news report regarding Paul Walker.

"Orange Is The New Black" was NOT canceled, and the folks at Netflix had to make public statements to reassure their fans that the news was indeed a hoax.

If you are wondering why all the fuss over the hoax, perhaps you have been living under a rock, or simply asleep at the keyboard while driving through cyberspace over the past year.  "Orange Is the New Black" is a Netflix comedy-drama series about life in a women's prison.  Even though the series is on internet based Netflix it competes with traditional television quite well, recently receiving 12 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.


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