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Military fort and national monument, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. During the War of 1812, the British bombarded it in 1814 but failed to capture the city it defended. Francis Scott Key witnessed the battle while being held aboard a British ship, and the sight of the U.S. flag flying above the fort inspired him to write The Star-Spangled Banner. The fort was used as a federal prison during the American Civil War and then served as a military post until 1900, when it was abandoned. Occupying an area of 43 acres (17 hectares), it was named a national park in 1925 and a national monument in 1939.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Fort McHenry, visit Britannica.com.
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