PBS special commemorates “The Star-Spangled Banner” bicentennial

The valiant defense of Fort McHenry on the night of Sept. 13, 1814, during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song eventually was declared the national anthem of the United States by Congress in 1931.


In commemoration of 200 years of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” PBS will air a live, two-hour broadcast featuring various performances of patriotic tunes — including, of course, America’s national anthem. John Lithgow (pictured) hosts the event, held at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, and is joined by co-host Jordin Sparks. The concert, called Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem, takes place amid a festival that includes tall ships, Navy gray hulls, a performance by the Blue Angels, and landside festivities.


The musical program for the concert is scheduled to include:

“This Land is Your Land” (Train & Melissa Etheridge)

“Till There Was You” (Kristin Chenoweth)

“Make Our Garden Grow” (Kristin Chenoweth & Paulo Szot)

“Boondocks” (Little Big Town)

“Stay All Night” (Little Big Town)

“Summertime” (Denyce Graves-Montgomery)

“Come to My Window” (Melissa Etheridge)

“Take My Number” (Melissa Etheridge)

“‘Merica” (Kenny Rogers)

“Drive By” (Train)

“Angel in Blue Jeans” (Train)

“My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (A Cappella) (Pentatonix)

“La La Latch” (Pentatonix)

“The Tracks of My Tears” (Smokey Robinson)

“Being with You” (Smokey Robinson)

“Overture to ‘Candide'” (Marin Alsop/BSO)

“The Star-Spangled Banner” (Jordin Sparks/US Marine Band/Morgan State Choir)

“Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture” (Marin Alsop/BSO)

“God Bless America” (Little Big Town/Kenny Rogers)

“America the Beautiful” (Denyce Graves-Montgomery)

“Patriotic Medley” (Marin Alsop/BSO/Navy Sea Chanters)

Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem airs live on PBS Sept. 13 at 8pm ET (check local listings).


Courtesy of © Nigel Parry/CPi Syndication


  1. PBS … When will you Re-Broadcast the “Star-Spangeled 200 Event?” I missed it and so desperately want to see it!!


    Thank you kindly, ;>) “Deborah” <

    • Hi, Deborah. We are not affiliated with PBS, but here is a link to a page with contact info for the network. We would recommend contacting them directly to see if the show will be rebroadcast, or if you can get it on DVD, etc. Thanks!


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