Fort McHenry

Fort_McHenryKnown for its legendary role in the War of 1812, and as the spark of creativity which inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner, Baltimore's Fort McHenry is an iconic and significant site of American history. Shaped like a beautiful star, the fort successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in 1814, one of its many victories. The sight of the flag of victory flying over the fort, it is said, moved Francis Scott Key so much it inspired him to pen what would become one of our nation's most beloved songs.

Fort McHenry is actually the second fort to belong to the site, Fort Whetstone being the first. Your group will learn facts like this and many others on a visit to Fort McHenry! The fort was made a national park in 1925 as well as a national monument and historic shrine in 1939, the only such place to be honored with the dual designation. The fort is easily accessible by water taxi from the Inner Harbor and is a highly popular tourist destination in Baltimore. Everyone wants to visit the birthplace of the National Anthem!

There are several daily events in which your group can participate including flag changes, ranger talks and flag talks among others. Stop by the Visitor Center first to explore a myriad of exhibits and videos on the fort's history, the War of 1812, and The Star Spangled Banner. Groups are allowed to tour the grounds or accompany a park ranger to learn more about the park's history as you tour.