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LearningTimes Produces Podcast Featuring the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Dana Allen-Greil of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History joins Jonathan Finkelstein of LearningTimes for a discussion of the award-winning O Say Can You Sing? National Anthem Singing Contest. The podcast was produced by LearningTimes in association with the American Association of Museums Media and Technology Committee.
On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. Key’s words gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which generations of Americans have invested the flag with their own meanings and memories. 

The National Museum of American History thought that a singing contest would be a fun way to dispel the notion that history is boring and engage people with the story of their flag and national anthem. Inviting the public to participate on YouTube fits well with the idea that the Star-Spangled Banner—and the flag that inspired it—belongs to everyone. Over 800 eligible entries were submitted and thousands of people rated and commented on their favorite singers. Jordan Shelton of Arvada, Colo., was selected as the grand-prize winner and was invited to perform the national anthem at the museum and at the Baltimore Orioles versus Atlanta Braves game in Baltimore on Flag Day, June 14, 2009.

Hear the podcast and learn more at:



July 31, 2010  |   LearningTimes News

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