The Star-Spangled Banner Summer Begins!

From the desk of
Burt Kummerow

Volume 3 Issue 6
June 6, 2014

Dear Reader,

From the Star-Spangled Banner Flag Gallery at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to the ramparts of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the Maryland Historical Society is in for quite a run in the next three months. We have two wonderful artifacts; the original 1814 version of the National Anthem in Francis Scott Key's own hand and a lovingly hand sewn authentic replica of the flag that inspired the song. Each of these icons is getting a lot of attention during our Star-Spangled Summer.

We are partnering with Maryland institutions that are commemorating 1812 history, beginning with our alliance between the Baltimore National Heritage Area, the Pride of Baltimore and Maryland's 13 Heritage Areas. Throughout the summer, our replica flag will be out and about with our partners, appearing at festivals and reenactments. Our aim is to take our flag and our story to every corner of the Old Line State. You can follow the busy schedule in several places starting with our own website. Be sure to be looking for an opportunity to help unfurl our flag. We guarantee goose bumps as you help spread the giant flag out for all to see.

Star Spangled Banner Manuscript
"The Star-Spangled Banner," manuscript by Francis Scott Key, 1814, Maryland Historical Society, 54315, will be at the Smithsonian from Flag Day through July 6, 2014
As you can imagine, the Key manuscript takes quite a bit of care and attention when we send it out. As an American icon, we have been very careful and selective about its appearances. We have three special visits in our sights; the National Museum of American History where it will join the original flag for very the first time in the Flag Chamber from June 14-July 6, followed by two weeks in early September when it will be at Fort McHenry for the biggest commemorations in the entire Bicentennial. The last visit is in the planning for George Washington's Mt. Vernon late in the year.

While we travel around with our icons, don't miss all the special things that will be happening right here on our own Campus in Baltimore. Our marvelous 1812 exhibit will soon get two upgrades: The first is an amazing new computer generated, touch screen version of Baltimore in 1815. We have been working hard on this jump into the future with our partners at the space age Imaging Research center on the UMBC campus. They have created a startling piece of technology and we will be unveiling it at our Annual Meeting on June 18, and adding more bells and whistles for another occasion in early September. In addition to touch screens, you will be able to see some of 1812 hero Commodore Joshua Barney's most cherished personal items thanks to the generosity of his descendants. When we get to the Bicentennial of the Battle of North Point, two fully uniformed mannequins will bring the opposing sides to life at that special moment in Baltimore and Maryland history.

I could go on and on because, if you love the history of this four century old state, there will be unparalleled opportunities to explore the dramatic worlds of our ancestors. I will end with another partnership this time with the Jewish Museum of Maryland. We are working together on an exhibit and programs of the "A-mazing Mendes Cohen," a veteran of the trenches at Ft. McHenry in 1814 who went on to become one of the most interesting adventurers to live in Baltimore in the 19th century.

We are filled with excitement as we take this summer ride into Maryland's past! We do hope you will come along.

Celebrate Flag Day With Us at the Smithsonian!

Raise It Up

From Flag Day, Saturday, June 14 - July 6, 2014 the Maryland Historical Society is lending the Smithsonian Francis Scott Key's original manuscript of the "Star-Spangled Banner" lyrics. It will be united for the first time with the flag Key saw at "dawn's early light." Visitors will be able to see the 30-by-34-foot flag and the manuscript, side-by-side in the banner's environmentally controlled chamber at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Flag Day will be full of celebrations, beginning at 2:30 pm on the National Mall. 
  • Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre will conduct a 500-person choir in a performance of "America the Beautiful."  
  • MacArthur 'genius' Fellow Francisco J. Núñez will conduct "Lift Every Voice," with commander and conductor Col. Larry Lang directing The U.S. Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants.  
  • Maryland Historical Society President Burt Kummerow will join Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough in giving a few remarks.
  • The capstone of the day will be the 4pm singing of the Star-Spangled Banner National Anthem.

#RaiseItUp Across America!

Party Map
Sites across the country will sing the National Anthem at 4pm on Flag Day.

Did you know that in addition to our celebration in Washington DC, there will be more than 40 museums, arts organizations, associations, and community groups around the country who will simultaneously sing the National Anthem at 4 pm on Flag Day?

The campaign is called #RaiseItUp. The Smithsonian is hoping to create a national moment of unity around our anthem and we think they will do it!

For a complete list of the participating organizations, click here.

And for other fun activities, including delicious Star-Spangled recipes, click here.

We will see you in Washington, DC on June 14!

Opening Soon! BEARINGS
of Baltimore, Circa 1815

General Wayne Inn
A rendering of the General Wayne Inn by the
UMBC Imaging Research Center.
Back in Maryland, our researchers and exhibition staff are putting the final touches on the new street-view scene of 1815 Baltimore, which will open to the public on Thursday, June 19. There will be a special unveiling to our Members and Trustees at our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 18.

We are calling it the Bird's Eye Annotated Representational Image/Navigable Gigapixel Scene (BEARINGS) of Baltimore, Circa 1815. Combining historical research with cutting-edge effects technology, BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 provides a detailed rendition of the burgeoning city and conveys Baltimore's prominence as a seaport and a commercial hub for the young country.

BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 is comprised of over 2.5 billion pixels and nearly 50,000 tiles that are generated from a 3D model of the city. The model itself contains millions of individual elements, including structures like buildings and boats which are individually placed by hand, and vegetation that is randomly generated across portions of the terrain. It is quite a beautiful site.

How Did We Do It?

Researchers at the University of Maryland Baltimore County's Imaging Research Center studied early maps of downtown Baltimore, historical newspapers, first-hand accounts, insurance policies, legal code, and topographical images to recreate in painstaking detail an image of Baltimore as it looked shortly after the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

They created 3D models of Baltimore row houses and other buildings that made up the early Baltimore scene. Check out the level of detail that was applied to this project: In designing the General Wayne Hotel (pictured), located on the corner of Paca and Baltimore (also known as Market) Streets, researchers consulted the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, which listed the building's construction materials. The hotel as it appeared in early photographs was also carefully reviewed. Using a library of authentic textures, its 3D brick exterior was created. A historically accurate paint scheme was used for the shutters. Notice how the shutters were louvered on the upper floors - their purpose was for ventilation from the hot, dusty street below. On the first floor, the shutters were paneled, for privacy from passersby. A hand-painted sign, a replica of what hung outside the hotel, was the final touch.

And that's just one building!

Technical Considerations

BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 is so large that it could not be displayed by a regular computer; in fact, if you wanted to view the whole image at once without shrinking it, you would need about 1,200 HDTVs.

The installation includes two screens: 46" HD touch screen and a 75" HD screen for projection. The super-fine quality resolution is HD (1920x1080). Its infrared technologies allow you to move to a point on the image without actually touching the screen.

By visiting the Maryland Historical Society, you can enjoy BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 simply by placing your hand over the screen. Hover over a particular spot, and you can zoom in on historically accurate city streets. Or, you can select one of the interactive "Hotspots," that, for the very first time, allow you to see significant buildings as they would have appeared in 1815. These arresting visual images are supplemented with primary source material from the Maryland Historical Society's collection.

On Thursday, June 19 the installation will be open to the general public. It will serve as the gateway to the Maryland Historical Society's exhibit In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland During the War of 1812 and will be on view indefinitely.

The Maryland Historical Society wishes to thank Project Director Dan Bailey, Researcher and Artist Tamara Peters, Technical Director Ryan Zuber, CUERE Environmental Data manager Joshua Cole and the students at the Imaging Research Center for their outstanding work. The Maryland Historical Society also thanks the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation for their funding support.

Join us for the Annual Meeting
on June 18 at 5:00 p.m.!

Maryland Historical Society members can get a sneak peek of BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 on Wednesday, June 18 from 5-8 PM at our Annual Meeting. Learn more about this exciting addition to our War of 1812 exhibit from the researchers, artists, and designers who worked to illustrate 1814 Baltimore in three dimensions. Reception to follow. The Annual Meeting is FREE for members and their families. Please register here.

Now Extended! "Woman of Two Worlds:"
Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy

Due to popular demand, our  "Woman of Two Worlds:" Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy exhibition has been extended through June 9, 2015!

Marking the first time the Maryland Historical Society has featured a exhibition exclusively devoted to a historical female figure, the exhibition has received high praise from The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Antiques Magazine, and was even featured in The New York Times!

Bonaparte Painting
Portrait of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, George D'Almaine after Gilbert Stuart, 1856, Maryland Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Charles Joseph Bonaparte, xx.5.78
Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, born in Baltimore in 1785, was the oldest daughter of thirteen children. Her father was William Patterson, an Irish shipping merchant and one of the wealthiest men in Maryland. She grew into a great beauty - a woman of dainty stature and an ivory complexion and a celebrated bosom. Her taste for the latest European fashions inspired her to wear gowns considered risqué by American standards.

Her beauty, coupled with her sharp wit, charm and fierce independence, made Elizabeth one of the most desirable women in Baltimore. She declined many marriage proposals from wealthy, powerful men - until she met Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, which thrust her into a love affair that would forever change her life.

The exhibition includes more than 100 objects, including silver, porcelain, paintings, textiles, jewelry, manuscripts and furniture associated with Elizabeth and her descendants. Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch is working on a catalogue that will be available early next year. Look for more details in upcoming issues of History Alive!

See Our Star-Spangled Banner Replica
Around Maryland!

Troxell and Flag
Richard Troxell performs the National Anthem in front of our Star-Spangled Banner replica during the opening day baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Baltimore. Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP
Our replica Star-Spangled Banner flag accurately represents the 30 x 42-foot banner that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Made entirely by hand, bearing fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, the replica Star-Spangled Banner flag was created by over 200 'stitchers' and more than 1,000 volunteers at the Maryland Historical Society in the summer of 2013, using authentic fabric and hand stitching techniques - just like Mary Pickersgill did in the summer of 1813.

Most recently, the flag was seen at the Baltimore Orioles' Opening Day festivities. In March, it was proudly carried aboard the Pride of Baltimore II to Annapolis for Maryland Day celebrations with The Fort McHenry Guard.

Now, in commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the National Anthem, the flag is on the move once again!

So mark your calendars; you will be able to see it at the following commemorations in June! We will continue to update you with flag events throughout the summer.

June Star-Spangled Banner Replica Appearances
June 6-8 (See our flag on June 7)   |   Leonardtown
Raiders & Invaders Weekend

Three days of fun add up to one fantastic weekend. Friday and Saturday in Leonardtown, it's music, street theater, food, brews and fun along the waterfront. Sunday, experience the rich history and culture of the entire St. Mary's peninsula. It's all just a short drive south of D.C. and Baltimore.
June 21 and 22 (See our flag both days)   |   St. Leonard
Battle of St. Leonard's Creek

Step back in time with Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum to experience what life was like during the War of 1812. This two day spectacular event will feature battle reenactments, living history, music, dance, vendors, food, and much much more! The event is free and open to the public.

Other Summer Events at the
Maryland Historical Society

War of 1812: Beyond the Battlefield
Summer Lecture Series

We are partnering with Fort McHenry National Historic Shrine to present a summer lecture series, War of 1812: Beyond the Battlefield. The events will take place Thursday evenings at the Maryland Historical Society, from 6:00-8:00 PM, with lectures beginning at 6:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served. All lectures are just $10.
War of 1812 Cover

Forgotten Conflict: Why the War of 1812 Matters Today
Presented by Don Hickey, Ph.D.
Thursday, July 17

The War of 1812 shaped the United States and Canada and influenced how Great Britain related to the two nations to the end of the 19th century and beyond. Based on its profound and lasting impact, the "forgotten conflict" deserves a higher profile in the living memory today. Hickey will explore the role of the War of 1812 in the current public imagination.

Pricing: $10/person.

To register, click here, send us an email, or call 410-685-3750 x377.

A Good Fight: The Religious War of 1812
Presented by James Robertson, Ph.D.
Thursday, August 14

The religious aspect of the War of 1812 provides an excellent example of how the three major religions have converged in the history of this nation. Robertson has contributed academic articles and book chapters on this topic as well as other issues related to western culture and Christianity, the impact of the Crusades, Muslim-Christian dialogue, and the role of missionaries in Canada's western expansion.

Pricing: $10/person.

To register, click here, send us an email, or call 410-685-3750 x377.

Free Admission for Active Military!

Now through Labor Day, the Maryland Historical Society honors active military by offering free admission through the Blue Star Museums program. Active military can enjoy general admission to the museum, at no charge through September 1, 2014.

The Maryland Historical Society is proud to be a Blue Star Museum. A collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America, it offer free admission to the nation's service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. Click here to see more.

Our FY15 Board of Trustees

For the complete list of our FY15 Board of Trustees, click here.

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And they can sign up!

Speaking of Trivia...

Trivia Time!

Congratulations to everyone who correctly answered last month's question! We asked you to name at least three existing church buildings in Baltimore that date back to 1815 or before. They are:

1) Old Otterbein (German Evangelical Reformed) Church on Conway Street - Dating back to 1785, this is the only 18th century church in Baltimore that has been used continuously to the present day.
2) Aisquith (or Old Town) Friends' Meeting House - This Quaker building on the corner of Fayette and Aisquith Streets is the oldest surviving religious building in the city.
3) Zion German Lutheran Church on Gay Street - It has changed a bit since it had a fire in 1840, but the building was never demolished and is still operational as a church today.
4) St. Mary's Seminary Chapel - While the Roman Catholic seminary and structures surrounding it changed over the years, the chapel, as well as the house of America's first saint (Elizabeth Seton), still remain on Paca Street today.
5) The Cathedral (Basilica of the Assumption) on Cathedral Street - This, America's first Catholic cathedral, was partially built by 1815. Started in 1806, there was a long hiatus on its progress, but it was eventually finished in 1821.

We'd like to thank our friends at UMBC's Imaging Research Center for the fascinating answers.

Ready for this month's question?

The Grand Union Flag
Calling all Vexillogists!

We celebrate Flag Day on June 14th because on that day in 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution adopting the first version of the American flag we know today. This first "flag act" established the flag as a series of thirteen alternating red and white stripes with an equal number of white stars over a blue shield in the upper right hand corner.

The thirteen stripes and stars represented those first colonies then growing to statehood. Slight alterations were made to this model as the nation grew to incorporate more states, of particular note is the fifteen striped "Star-Spangled Banner Flag" described by Francis Scott Key in the national anthem.

However prior to the 1777 Flag Act, rebelling colonists rallied under the "Grand Union Flag," one with the same thirteen stripes but a different image - the British Union flag- occupying the upper right corner. Interestingly, another entity tied to international trade had flown this same flag since the early 1700s.

Question: What other group shared this standard?

Email us your answer, and you, too, could win a prize! Best of luck.

Until next month,

Burton Kummerow
President, The Maryland Historical Society

From Our Friends

Join the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) at the Maryland Polo Club in Monkton Md. for an inter-club match to benefit the MHBA Political Action Committee on Friday, June 13 at 6pm. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Your ticket includes admission, a wine tasting courtesy of Galloping Goose Vineyards, food and beverage with coffee and tea provided by Baltimore Coffee.

Contact: Jordyn Brand at 410-252-2100 x113

Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society's mission is to "collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland's diverse cultural heritage." The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled "Maryland Historical Magazine." The Society is located at 201 W. Monument Street and open to the public Wednesday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday (library only) 12 pm-5pm.