90 years ago today ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ became the U.S. national anthem

90 years ago today, on March 3, 1931, Pres. Herbert Hoover made the Star-Spangled Banner the national anthem.

Francis Scott Key originally wrote the anthem as a poem titled, “The Defense of Fort M’Henry” after he saw the British attack the Maryland fort during the War of 1812.

After the events, he saw a U.S. flag flying over Fort McHenry that moved him to write what was later turned into a song.

The Star-Spangled Banner was also used before it was officially made the national anthem by the U.S. Navy in 1888 and Pres. Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Over the years, many artists have given the anthem their own flair.

Here are a few we think stand atop the list:

Whitney Houston

Houston sang the National Anthem at the 1991 Tampa, Florida Superbowl XXV. It took place during the period of the Persian Gulf War. Her performance made the public demand Arista Records release the recording as a commercial single.

Beyonce Knowles

Knowles performed the national anthem to about 700,000 people, while about 1.8 million watched Pres. Barrack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration in 2013.

Lady Gaga

She took the stage back in January to perform a rendition of the national anthem for Pres. Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. While sporting a navy and red Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown paired with a golden dove symbolizing peace, Gaga performed the national anthem with style.


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