Fort Mchenry National Monument

Fort McHenry National Park, with its prominent history and glorious star-shaped design, is best related to paired with the War of 1812. The fort played the key role in the defense of the Baltimore Harbor when attacked in Chesapeake Bay by the British. Fort McHenry National Monument is the dedicated symbol to the September battle of 1814. More than 1,000 courageous Americans fought valiantly for their country and defended it against an abrasive British attack. It was during this important time in American history that the now world famous United States anthem was inspired and written by Francis Scott Key. Over the following century Fort McHenry Baltimore was never attacked a second time though it did remain a paramount military post throughout the century.

In 1933 the area that would become Fort McHenry National Park was officially administered by the National Park Service. This was two years following the poem-cum-national anthem became the official anthem for the entire country. The uniqueness of Fort McHenry Baltimore is that it's designated as both a Historic Shrine and as a National Monument. Fort McHenry National Monument is named after James McHenry. McHenry was part Scottish and Irish, an immigrant who later became a surgeon and a soldier in the United States. In later years he was the Secretary of War presiding under President Washington. Fort McHenry Natioanl Monument is located inside the fort which is built directly into the opening of where the Inner Harbor, a top Baltimore attraction, is located.

There are many fun and interesting things to do when visiting Fort McHenry National Park. It's advised that visitors begin their Maryland tours of the park at the visitors center where a short film, The Defense of Fort McHenry, helps to broaden the understanding of the fort's history. The film is presented three times each hour. Gift shopping is possible at the visitors center where there are also restrooms and a number of exhibits. Moving on to the tour of Fort McHenry Baltimore, visitors should plan at least an hour for a good look around. The tour is easily a self-guided one.

Many times of the year there are special events held throughout the year such as National Flag Day, Living American Flag, The Star-Spangled Banner Weekend and twilight tattoo ceremonies. Guests can check the calender of events to see what might be happening around their visit. In the summer time, ranger talks are quite popular. Well-versed tour guides explain the history of Fort McHenry National Monument, the events surrounding the fort and an in depth explanation of the battle with the British. Musket, artillery and drill demonstrations are performed by the on suty guard, presenting a very real-seeming atmosphere at the fort.

The Inner Harbor is a central gathering point for locals and visitors in Baltimore throughout the year. There are many attractions focused in the area such as Port Discovery, the highly acclaimed Maryland Science Center and the ever-loved and exciting National Aquarium. Those visiting the city will inevitably find themselves exploring the area. Fort McHenry is only a few miles south east of the harbor and is easily reached by car rental or public transport. With the city more than deserving of a few days of exploration, the excellent variety of Baltimore hotels will accommodate any size group for a city sojourn.

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