“Forgotten Hollywood”- Our National Anthem…

Posted on July 4, 2017 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… 

“`Francis Scott Key, apparently better at lyrics than a melody, put his description of the battle of Fort McHenry to an old English tune that had a lot less to do with patriotism than it did with booze and women. This year marks the 100th season that it was played for a first time at a World Series game  — an event that helped cement it in the consciousness to become our  National Anthem. The Star Spangled Banner’s history is rooted in our National Pastime.

“`On September 5, 1918, newspapers were dominated by reports of  World War I, including the latest American dead. The World Series was in Chicago with the Cubs hosting Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox. The games were played at Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox, instead of their new locale at Wrigley Field; called Weegham Park, at the time. But, in a city jittery over the war, the game that day attracted less than  20,000 fans, the smallest World Series crowd in years. Then, in the seventh inning, the band from the Navy training station, north of Chicago, started to play the Star-Spangled Banner.

“`The head of the Navy band at the time was the well known conductor and composer, John Philip Sousa. He was not at the game;  but, he had recently arranged the standardized arrangement that is still played today.  The 1918 World Series would have been one of the first times the band could test the newer version. Players took off their caps as they faced a flag that fluttered atop a pole in right field, as the twelve-piece band started to play. A couple of fans began to sing. Then others joined in; and when the last notes hit, a great volume of cheering rolled across the stadium. Not everybody thought what happened was a huge deal. Sports writer Ring Lardner wrote about it; but, only as a punch line at the end of his column.

“`It wasn’t until 1931 that Congress and President Herbert Hoover officially designated the song as the National Anthem. It wasn’t until the 1940s, during World War II, Major League teams started playing it every day.

“`And today, it is played at almost every American sporting event, from Little League to the Super Bowl to medal ceremonies at The Olympics. Happy Independence Day!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 1:29 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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