We all studied about the War of 1812 in history class, but many of us know very little about this conflict. The 200th anniversary of the start of the war occurs this year, so perhaps this is a good time to remember what happened.
Did you know that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” after soldiers at Fort McHenry in Baltimore raised an American flag to mark their victory over the British on September 14, 1814?
The British burned down the White House on August 24, 1814, and first lady Dolley Madison refused to leave the building until the Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington had been saved. That painting hangs in the White House today.
The most famous American warship was the USS Constitution. You can visit this ship in Charleston, Massachusetts, near Boston.
Many important battles were fought in the midwest as the British sought to take control of the Great Lakes. Fort Dearborn, located where Chicago is now, was destroyed in the war.
If you’d like to read more about this conflict, we have a new reference set titled The Encyclopedia of the War of 1812 (REF 973.5203 ENC). For other books check our catalog, our History Research Guide, or Ask Us!
Check out the War of 1812 official website.