March 19, 2009


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD), today introduced legislation that would create two commemorative coins to honor the Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem.  


The Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act would create two coins that would be minted in 2012 to coincide with the 200 th anniversary of the War of 1812.   Money from the sale of the coins would go to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, a state counterpart to the proposed National Star-Spangled Banner & War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, and would help coordinate programs to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Battle for Baltimore .


" The War of 1812 is often referred to as the Second War of Independence and deserves broad, national recognition," said Senator Cardin. "As Marylanders, we are all proud of the role our state has played in our nation's history and the creation of these commemorative coins will bring greater attention to this bicentennial celebration."


"I am proud to be from a state with such a rich heritage and culture as Maryland," Senator Mikulski said. "These coins will commemorate a day of great Maryland and national pride-the composition of our national anthem by Francis Scott Key at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore."


The War of 1812 confirmed America's independence from the British.   After two and a half years of conflict, in which British troops burned Washington, D.C., American soldiers stopped the British as they attempted to capture Baltimore.   After 25 hours of bombardment, the British failed to take Fort McHenry at the mouth of the Baltimore Harbor and were forced to retreat.   Francis Scott Key immortalized the battle in a poem that later became known as the Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem.