Key and the other two Americans safely made their way back to Baltimore. The day after the battle, Key put his thoughts into verse in a poem he called “Defence of Fort McHenry.” Ironically, Key’s lyrics were later put to the tune of a popular British drinking song called “The Anacreontic Song” (a.k.a. “To Anacreon in Heaven”), to which many tavern brawls were fought and drunken affairs consummated!
The song would later be renamed the “Star-Spangled Banner” and, by an act of Congress in 1931, it was made our National Anthem. Sometimes, the most unlikely of events end up shaping history, a history that is always infinitely more fascinating than anything imagined by Hollywood scriptwriters!