Baltimore & Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Susan and I attended a nephew's wedding in Catonsville, MD near Baltimore a few days ago - we took a non-stop flight to D.C.'s National Airport, rented a car and drove to the Baltimore area for several nights - I've been to Baltimore many times and have seen all of the historic sites EXCEPT Ft. McHenry - so before checking into our hotel, we visited the fort. Ft. McHenry is most famous for defending Baltimore in the War of 1812 - the British planned a combined land and sea attack to take the city (see battle map below); the land attempt was repulsed and the naval bombardment a failure - the British did not want to move their ships close to Ft. McHenry in fear of the guns and 'hot shot', so they simply left and Baltimore was saved. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer, was aboard a ship and on the morning of September 14, 1814, saw the newly raised garrison flag (15 stars & 15 stripes) still standing, and inspiring the words that became 'The Star Spangled Banner', the USA's national anthem - see quotes below and link for more information. Pics below (first few from the web the rest are mine) show the fort, the new visitor's center (opened in 2011), and the fort - some of the cannons are post-1812 - after the wedding, we returned the car and then came into D.C. for 4 nights staying at the historic Willard Hotel - yesterday, we saw the restored 'Star Spangled Banner' flag - more on the flag and on what we did in D.C. in following posts. Dave .