- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2014

BALTIMORE — En route to a Democratic fundraiser, President Obama toured Fort McHenry Friday afternoon and viewed a copy of the original “Star-Spangled Banner” manuscript penned 200 years ago by Francis Scott Key.

One of Mr. Obama’s tour guides, Park Service ranger Vincent Vaise, described the document to the president as “the high school diploma” of the U.S. He said the Declaration of Independence is the nation’s birth certificate.

During the War of 1812, British forces attacked the fort in September 1814, and Key witnessed the assault from a nearby ship. When American forces in the fort raised the U.S. flag after enduring a night of bombardment, Key was inspired to write the poem that was turned into the national anthem in 1931.

Officials who toured the fort with the president included Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Baltimore Mayor Rawlings Blake, and Democratic Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin.

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