When Key's poem became a popular choice of lyrics to that tune, the U.S. Navy adopted it for their ceremonies in 1889, and thus began a long, arduous effort to get "The Star Spangled Banner" named the National Anthem. Finally, in 1931, by congressional decree under President Herbert Hoover, the song was officially named the national anthem of the United States.
The Attack on BaltimoreKey wrote the poem after the British attack on Baltimore. He was inspired when, after the battle had cleared, he saw a large American flag still flying over the fort. The original title of the poem was "Defence of Fort McHenry," although it eventually became known as "The Star Spangled Banner," after one of the song's most prominent lines.
Early PerformancesEarly performances of the song saw it being played as flags were raised, during the 1918 World Series, and other events. It has since become a standard at the opening of sports events and other ceremonies, when those not in uniform are expected to stand at attention and salute the flag as the anthem is sung.