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  • This painting depicts Francis Scott Key seeing the American flag flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor the day after he witnessed the British bombardment of the fort in the War of 1812.  This sighting inspired the poet to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," which became the official United States national anthem in 1931.  (AP Photo)

    New bio of 'Star-Spangled' author Francis Scott Key as American anthem turns 200

    Before the "dawn's early light" and the "twilight's last gleaming," the author of our national anthem was busy arranging a prisoner swap with the enemy.

  • BOOK REVIEW: 'Lafayette'

    For most soldiers, a single six-year revolution would provide action enough for a lifetime. For one wealthy French aristocrat, the Marquis de Lafayette, however, the American Revolution was merely Act I in a turbulent era. A hero of the American Revolution, Lafayette nearly lost his life in the French.

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