Press Release

June 16, 2008

U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin today joined with
U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), and National Park Service officials at Bladensburg Waterfront Park to announce a $100,000 Chesapeake Bay Watertrails Network grant to address stewardship, access and interpretation of the water trails portion of the
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.
  Senator Cardin first introduced legislation to create the Trail in 2003, and the bill was signed into law on May 8.


The National Historic Trail system commemorates major routes of historic travel and events that have shaped American history. The
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail will follow the land and water routes of the British invasion through Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia from June 1814 to September 1814.
  The creation of the
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail comes in time for the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 in 2012.


The Trail will follow the route of the invasion beginning with the June 1814 battle between the British Navy and the American Chesapeake Flotilla in St. Leonard’s Creek in Calvert County, follow the British landing at Benedict on the Patuxent River, the Battle of Bladensburg, and moving on to the British march into Washington, D.C., which was sacked and burned. From Washington, it follows the British campaign to the Battle of North Point and on to Baltimore, ending at Fort McHenry, site of the defeat of the British and where Francis Scott Key composed The Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem.


“As we prepare for the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, the Star-Spangled Banner Trail will ensure that Americans have a much better appreciation of America’s past and of Maryland’s important contributions to it,” said
Senator Cardin..
  “I am extremely pleased that the nation will now have the opportunity to learn about the unique role Maryland and our region played in our nation’s history.”


“As Marylanders, we are all proud of the role our state has played in defending the freedom in our country,” said
Congressman Van Hollen. “The designation of this Trail will preserve an important piece of history and ensure that the battles fought on our soil will be remembered forever.”


The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network is excited to partner with Maryland in commemorating America’s Second War for Independence and the Chesapeake region’s role in it. This project will identify the most rewarding portions of the watertrail routes of the Maryland Star-Spangled Banner Trail, and will be an excellent addition to the recently designated
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail,” said
John Maounis, Superintendent of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network.