The centerpiece of the museum’s renovation is the brand-new state-of-the-art home for the Star-Spangled Banner. Yes, the Star-Spangled Banner mentioned in the national anthem. In its accompanying exhibit, you’ll be able to hear different versions of the national anthem—both historical and contemporary. As we’ve been selecting what to include in the exhibit, we’ve been listening to everything from the earliest recordings for the phonograph made by Thomas Edison in 1878 to Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969 to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We want to show how people have interpreted and used the anthem in many ways over the years. Do you have a favorite version of the Star-Spangled Banner? Share it with us!
Megan Smith is an Education Specialist working on The Star-Spangled Banner project, the First Ladies and American Presidency exhibitions, and the museum’s new public programs. She now knows way more about the national anthem than she ever thought possible.