Description and Analysis

Modern Commemoratives

Description & Analysis

From September 13-14, 1814, the British Navy bombarded Fort McHenry in Chesapeake Bay while trying to take the city of Baltimore. By the morning of the 14th, the battle was over and American troops raised a giant 30x42 foot flag which signaled an American victory in the defense of the city.

American lawyer and author Francis Scott Key witnessed these events from a ship in the harbor, and wrote a poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry" which we now know better as the "Star-Spangled Banner."

In honor of the bicentennial of these events, Congress authorized the minting of up to 500,000 silver dollars and 100,000 $5 gold pieces. Surcharges of $10 and $35 were added to each silver and gold piece, respectively. These fees were donated to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission to help them with outreach programs and the upkeep of historical monuments.