In order to allow for the installation of scaffolding and floor, statuary, and artwork protection in conjunction with the Dome Restoration Project, the Rotunda of the Capitol will be closed from Monday, July 27 through Monday, September 7. While the Rotunda is unavailable for tours, an alternate tour route will be provided. The Capitol Visitor Center is open during the closure of the Rotunda and will offer special activities which do not require advance reservations. You can also download our new U.S. Capitol Rotunda app.

Exhibit Theme

The National Anthem

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Bombardment of Fort McHenry, oil...
Image Caption

Bombardment of Fort McHenry, oil on canvas by Alfred Jacob Miller, ca. 1828-1830

After witnessing the British bombard Fort McHenry, Baltimore, through the night of September 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem of joy that the American flag was still flying at dawn. Set to a British melody, Key’s poem “The Star Spangled Banner” became a popular patriotic song.


Courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society, 1901.2.3