Sunday, March 14, 2010


I was surprised I didn't have more postcards from Maryland, as I've spent a fair amount of time there, both with a friend in Baltimore and and friends in Silver Spring, just over the district line from Washington, DC.

From the back of this card: "The 'Star Spangled Banner' is an account of the emotions experienced by Francis Scott Key as he witnessed the attack on Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812. Key was inspired when he saw the flag, sewn at the Flag House in Baltimore by Mary Pickersgill, still flying over the fort at dawn after a long bombardment by the British fleet."

What I didn't know was that the "Star Spangled Banner" was originally a poem whose words were applied to the tune of a well-established and well-known English drinking song, the "Anacreontic Song". I also didn't know that the song actually has four verses, but it is only the first that is used as the US national anthem.

What I didn't know about Maryland is that its state motto is the only state motto in Italian (not Latin) and reads: "Fatti maschii, parole femine" which translates literally as "Manly deeds, womanly words", or perhaps, "Strong deeds, gentle words". Who knew?

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