The bicentennial of the War of 1812 has run, and continues to run, parallel to the the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Last summer’s big event, from the historically inclined audience, was of course the Gettysburg 150th. This year, the bicentennial at Fort McHenry may overshadow the Civil War related events.
The Star Spangled 200 website lists several events related to the Chesapeake Campaign scheduled for this summer (and I suspect a few more will be added). But the big headline will be the anniversary of the bombardment of Fort McHenry. Current listings are:
- September 6 & 7 – Activities @ The Fort; Fort McHenry Guard travels to North Point – Fort Howard
- September 9 – Bicentennial Living American Flag! (School event). 6,700 school students from across the State of Maryland will create a Living American Flag at Fort McHenry. Like their predecessors in 1914, students will engage in experiential learning by literally being part of the Star-Spangled Banner as 6,500 did for the Centennial. To commemorate the Bicentennial, this will be the largest living Star-Spangled Banner Flag ever created!
- September 10 – Maritime theme @ the Fort; Tall Ships and Navy Ships Arrive; Star-Spangled Festivals: Inner Harbor Village and Fort McHenry Village
- September 11 – Special 911 Ceremony @ The Fort; Group & Public Ship Tours; Star-Spangled Festivals: Inner Harbor Village and Fort McHenry Village
- September 12 – Defenders’ Day parade featuring the Fort McHenry Guard and wreath-laying events; Group & Public Ship Tours; Star-Spangled Festivals: Inner Harbor Village and Fort McHenry Village; Inner Harbor Village Happy Hour!
- September 13 – Afternoon—Blue Angels Air Show; Public Ship Tours; Star-Spangled Festivals: Inner Harbor Village and Fort McHenry Village…Evening—Patriotic Program/Concerts at Fort and Pier 6 Inner Harbor
with symbolic bombardments, Baltimore’s largest fireworks display!!!
- September 14 – Morning—“Dawns Early Light Ceremony” honoring the moment 200 years ago when Francis Scott Key penned The Defence of Fort McHenry which became “The Star-Spangled Banner.” These words sparked recognition of the American Flag as the primary symbol of the American people and 100 years later became our National Anthem. Star-Spangled Festivals: Inner Harbor Village and Fort McHenry Village Afternoon—Blue Angels Air Show
- September 15 –Tours; Star-Spangled Festivals: Inner Harbor Village and Fort McHenry Village
- September 16 – Parade of Ships – Departure
Yes, a bit more “flash” than any Civil War sesquicentennial event I can recall. Even Gettysburg didn’t have the Blue Angles flying by. Then again, we are celebrating the events that gave us our national anthem. That does call for more than a couple of musket volleys!
The actual 200th anniversary falls on those weekend date. So there’s no “I burned all my vacation for the Civil War events” excuse.