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H.R. 14, An Act To make The Star-Spangled Banner the national anthem of the United States of America, April 21, 1930

In April 1930 the House of Representatives passed a bill introduced by Representative John Linthicum of Maryland to make “The Star-Spangled Banner” the nation’s anthem. Despite critics who disliked the melody or felt the law unnecessary, the Senate passed the bill the following year, and President Herbert Hoover signed it into law on March 2, 1931.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

H.R. 14, An Act To make The Star-Spangled Banner the national anthem of the United States of America, April 21, 1930

The National Anthem

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” a song based on a poem by Francis Scott Key, was inspired by the American flag during the War of 1812. It became the United States’ national anthem through the efforts of Representative John Linthicum of Maryland. Linthicum introduced his bill in the House of Representatives in 1929. Bolstered by petitions, letters, and telegrams from around the country, he pressed for its passage, saying that an anthem would be an expression of patriotism. In 1931 Congress officially designated the song as the national anthem.

O say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

“Star-Spangled Banner,” National Anthem of the United States