Francis Scott Key

1779 –

Born on August 1, 1779, in Frederick County, Maryland, Francis Scott Key was a lawyer who witnessed the daylong assault of Fort McHenry by British troops during the War of 1812. Key saw the fort hold during the attack and was inspired to write The Star-Spangled Banner, which became the U.S. national anthem. Key went on to serve as a district attorney in Washington, D.C. He died on January 11, 1843.