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John Charles Linthicum, oil on canvas by Thomas Cromwell Corner, 1932

Representative John Linthicum of Maryland was born near Baltimore. He served in Congress from 1911 to 1932, becoming chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1931.

Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

John Charles Linthicum, oil on canvas by Thomas Cromwell Corner, 1932

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