Friday, October 21, 2011

Fort McHenry and Baltimore

Ft. McHenry sits on a point of land where 2 rivers meet near Baltimore. It is also where a battle took place during the War of 1812 and a young American lawyer, Francis Scott Key, watched the British bombard the fort with shells for 24 hours. As the day dawned and he saw the flag still flying above the fort, he wrote the Star Spangled Banner, which over 100 years later became the country's national anthem.

At the visitor center they have a short film about the battle and at the end of the film, while the Star Spangled Banner is playing they raise the screen and there outside the large plate glass window, flies our flag. It was very moving.

Another view of the fort and the flag.

The guns pointed out into the harbor, protecting the fort and Baltimore. The cannons at the fort could only fire about 1 1/2 miles, and the British knew this and stayed just out of range at about 2 miles out. But they had the means to fire their guns into the fort. But the Americans never gave up and never surrendered. After 24 hours the British knew they could not take the fort. It was a stalemate and another turning of the tide for the the Americans.

We saw this wicked storm cloud while we were there.

The old part of Baltimore is known as Fells Point. It is now a very touristy place with lots of small shops, art galleries and of course restaurants. The streets are still cobblestone and brick and the buildings have been shored up to keep from falling down.

You can even take a trip on a pirate ship.

This is the old pier building. Now most of it is closed off to the public. The police have a substation in one end. It was the location for much of a TV series which ran from 1993-1999.

The story was police show about a fictional Baltimore Homicide Unit. The show ran on NBC, won lots of awards and was succeeded by a TV movie. Funny, but I don't even remember the show.

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