DC 1812 Commemoration

On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. The War of 1812—also known as the “second war for American independence,” threatened to rip the young United States apart–but a revolutionary spirit lived on in its citizens, who stood up to defend their nation, its commerce, and freedom of the seas.

2014 marks the 200th Anniversary of the devastating burning of Washington, followed by the penning of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key and the decision to rebuild our new nation’s capital as a symbol of American pride and independence.

To commemorate these momentous events in our nation’s history, museums, archives, libraries, historic sites and neighborhood associations across the National Capitol Region will host family events, lectures, and open houses.

Visit historic sites and museums in the region throughout our Star Spangled Summer to discover the history of the War of 1812 and the birth of our American nationhood during the Washington, DC Region’s Bicentennial Commemoration.

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A view of the Capitol after the conflagration of the 24th August 1814
by William Struckland, courtesy of the Library of Congress

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