Over Easter we took a road trip to Maryland with a short visit to the DC area. We passed on sight-seeing in DC on the first day because of the crowds, the cold and parking issue. You can read about our drive by tour at Road Trip.
The following day we were going to do a real tour of DC but again after a late start and the knowledge that DC was jammed with Spring Break tourists we went to the ever popular Plan B, driving right past all those gorgeous monuments and directly to Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine. This fabulous National Park is located in Baltimore. The best thing was that when we got there we found plenty of free parking. OK, that really wasn’t the best thing but it was pretty darn important. Here is where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner while watching the Battle of Baltimore from a British war ship. Here is where the citizens of Balitmore stopped the British invasion during the War of 1812. The British had just burned Washington DC and planned to do the same to Baltimore until they were stopped by the amazing people of Baltimore.
The fort is located at the opening of the Baltimore Harbor with an unbelievable view of the Chesapeake Bay. Right beyond the Francis Scott Key Bridge is where the British war ships were anchored.The visitor’s center has a wonderful multi-media presentation that is not to be missed. It gives the history of the battle and kept Jake and Sam enthralled as the story unfolded. This is the way to learn history for my guys. Watch a presentation and then be able to explore the actual site where it happened.Sam checking for British ships…Jake, the Hunk and April exploring the area at the base of the fort.
Every time we sing the Star Spangled banner we will now think about Ft McHenry. If you live close by or are planning a visit to Washington DC this is not to be missed. Next week is National Parks Week and you can get into this park and any national park in the United States for free.
O’er the ramparts he ran...definitely the best way to learn history.