TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many Verses Does The Star-Spangled Banner Have?

During sporting and other events, the first verse of The Star-Spangled Banner” is usually sung.

How many verses does The Star-Spangled Banner have?


It has four. The lyrics can be viewed here.


According the National Museum of American History, inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry the morning after the American victory of the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key scribbled the initial verse of his song on the back of a letter.


He later completed the rest of the verses and put them on a sheet of paper. Shortly afterward, two Baltimore newspapers published it, and by mid-October it had appeared in at least seventeen other papers in cities up and down the East Coast.


The Star-Spangled Banner was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931.
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