WASHINGTON – The Senate has approved legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) to create two commemorative coins to honor the nation’s Second War of Independence and the Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem. The House has already passed the bill. The measure will now go directly to the President for his signature.
The Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act will create two coins that would be minted in 2012 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Money from the sale of the coins will go to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, a state counterpart to the proposed National Star-Spangled Banner & War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. This funding will help coordinate programs to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Battle for Baltimore.
“The War of 1812 is often referred to as the Second War of Independence and deserves broad, national recognition,” said Senator Cardin. “As Marylanders, we are all proud of the role our state has played in our nation’s history and the creation of these commemorative coins will make it possible for us to bring greater attention to this bicentennial celebration.”
“When the British fought to take Baltimore in the War of 1812, they were met with a formidable opponent,” Senator Mikulski said. “The American soldiers wouldn’t let Baltimore fall, and Marylanders are proud of the role their city played in this great war. I am proud to celebrate it. These commemorative coins will recognize the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the great victory that was had at Fort McHenry.”
The War of 1812 ensured America’s continued independence from the British. After two and a half years of conflict, in which British troops burned Washington, D.C., American soldiers stopped the British as they attempted to capture Baltimore. After 25 hours of bombardment, the British failed to take Fort McHenry at the mouth of the Baltimore Harbor and were forced to retreat. Francis Scott Key immortalized the battle in a poem later known as the Star-Spangled Banner, which became our National Anthem.