Description - Fort McHenry was built in the late 18th century and is world famous as the birthplace of the American national anthem. The fort guards Baltimore's harbor and it was the valiant defense of Fort McHenry by American forces during the War of 1812, that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner." After the Battle of Baltimore the fort never again came under attack. However, it remained an active military post off and on for the next 100 years.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Site
During the Civil War, the site was occupied by Union forces who used it as a prison camp for the detention of Confederate soldiers, southern sympathizers and political prisoners. From 1917 until 1923, US Army General Hospital No. 2 was located here to serve World War I troops. A portion of the 43 acre park was used as a US Coast Guard training facility as late as World War II. The National Park Service began administering the site in 1933.
- Fort McHenry National Monument provides a visitor center with a model of the fort, movie theater and restrooms. Exhibits in the visitor center focus upon historical and military memorabilia, an electric battle map, the restored barracks and original flag pole. The grounds surrounding the fort include statues, interpretive panels and plaques. A daily flag changing occurs at 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM weather permitting. Interpretive and living history programs are provided occasionally, check the visitor center for scheduled events.
Recreation - Bird-watching, interpretive programs, and self-guided tours are available at Fort McHenry.
Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.
Fort McHenry National Monument is located in Baltimore, Maryland, in the Baltimore Harbor. The park lies three miles southeast of the Baltimore Inner Harbor along Interstate 95.