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NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2014
Several toll lanes on southbound Interstate 95 prior to the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore were closed Tuesday afternoon after a tractor trailer collided with a pick-up truck at one of the toll entrances. The accident, reported to Maryland Transportation Authority officials about 5:18 p.m., forced four lanes of traffic to be closed as hazardous materials crews responded to 20 gallons of fuel reported to be spilled on the roadway, said Tamory Winfield, a MdTA spokesman. No injuries were reported, but the lanes - No. 15 through No. 18 - could remain closed for some time, Winfield said shortly after 6 p.m. First Sgt. Jonathan Green, a MdTA Police spokesman, said the accident appeared to involve the tractor trailer, the pick-up truck and one other passenger vehicle.
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NEWS
By Andy Rosen, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2014
Decades of careful restoration and study have revealed a lot about the flag that flew over Fort McHenry after its defenders fought off a naval attack during the War of 1812: the swatches taken as mementos of the pivotal battle, the areas worn by time, perhaps even sections damaged by British mortar fire. But a gaping hole at the center of the original Star-Spangled Banner presents a question that no one has been able to answer: What happened to the missing star? "It's a major mystery," said Lonn Taylor, a retired historian who helped the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History reconstruct the story of the flag in the century after it left the fort and before it entered the museum's collection.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2014
As Defenders' Day approaches here in Baltimore, we will be commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and Francis Scott Key's composition of "The Defence of Fort McHenry. "  I expect that the ink was scarcely dry on the poem when people were singing it, to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven," a British  drinking song. It caught on, of course, though "The Star-Spangled Banner" did not become the official national anthem until 1931. In 1879, Dudley Buck, an American  organist and composer, used the tune in a composition for organ later orchestrated as the "Festival Overture on the American National Air," also known as the "Festival Overture on the 'Star-Spangled Banner.'" Surely someone in Baltimore will find a way to program this work during the bicentennial season.
SPORTS
By Matt Schnabel, The Baltimore Sun | April 26, 2014
Discarded bottles, empty bags of chips and errant playground balls littered the shoreline of the Fort McHenry Wetland, a 7.5-acre hub of biodiversity home to hundreds of plant and animal species. "Anything that floats ends up downstream," said Laura Bankey, director of conservation for the National Aquarium, the wetland's steward since 1999. "Because this is a soft shoreline with vegetation, it ends up here. " To combat pollution plaguing the marsh habitat, about 250 volunteers picked up trash, dredged debris, planted trees and tended the wetland's gardens Saturday as part of a cleanup event hosted by the aquarium and the National Parks Conservation Association.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and The Baltimore Sun | April 3, 2014
Baltimore's celebration of the 200th anniversary of the penning of "The Star-Spangled Banner" will be broadcast live during a two-hour episode of PBS' "Great Performances" series on Sept. 13. The show is set for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast live from the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry. "We are delighted to be Maryland's lead story teller, especially during this banner year," Steven J. Schupak, chief content officer at Maryland Public Television, said in a press release. "' Star-Spangled Spectacular' will be a dynamic, moving and memorable prime-time entertainment special.
NEWS
By Brandi Bottalico, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2014
The Pride of Baltimore II took its first sail of the season Monday, as it traveled to Annapolis carrying a replica of the flag that inspired the national anthem. The flag has been displayed publicly only once since it was created by Maryland Historical Society volunteers last summer to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. On Tuesday it will play an integral role in the state's observation of Maryland Day, which celebrates the arrival of European colonists in Maryland in 1634.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2014
A major construction project on Interstate 95, set to begin Sunday, will impact traffic in Baltimore for the next two years - shifting and narrowing lanes and forcing ramp closures and detours. The $66 million project to remove and replace the existing concrete deck and roadway joints of 4.4 miles of the elevated highway between Caton Avenue and the Fort McHenry Tunnel south of downtown is expected to last through the middle of 2016, the Maryland Transportation Authority said Friday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | March 6, 2014
A year of events celebrating the 200 t h anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner kicked off Thursday with the unveiling of a commemorative stamp. The newest installment of the popular "forever" stamps - so named because they continue to be valid even if the cost of postage rises - features Old Glory in front of scarlet and white fireworks representing the "rockets' red glare" described in the national anthem. The stamp was introduced at a ceremony in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, according to a Maryland Historical Society news release.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2014
The 79-year-old Handel Choir of Baltimore has made a point of honoring its namesake every year with a performance of the oratorio "Messiah. " But on Saturday at Old St. Paul's, the chorus will focus on the "Baltimore" portion of its name with a concert celebrating the city's history and diversity. This program is the brainchild of the Handel Choir's artistic director, Arian Khaefi, now in his first season with the ensemble. "I tried to choose repertoire that would reflect the different ethnic communities and faiths," Khaefi, 29, said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2014
The runup to this year's celebration of the "Star-Spangled Banner" bicentennial took a leap forward Tuesday with the rollout of a pair of websites - one of which shows live video of Fort McHenry offering views similar to what Francis Scott Key would have seen during the Battle of Baltimore. The project lets history buffs visit Baltimore-area War of 1812 sites online, through the work of Star-Spangled 200, the coordinating committee behind the celebration. "Those of us who tell stories for a living are always looking for new ways and new media to transport people to amazing experiences," said Bill Pencek, executive director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, "in this case, to broaden awareness of the dramatic events 200 years ago that tested American and gave us our national anthem.
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