YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The song known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” became popular in the 19th century. Bands would play it at parades, Independence Day celebrations and a sporting event or two.
But it wasn’t our national anthem, because we still didn’t have one.
Then came September 5, 1918. We were still fighting World War I and feeling patriotic.
During the seventh-inning stretch of game one of the World Series that day, the band played “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The two teams, the Cubs and Red Sox, stood at attention, the crowd sang along and cheered and a tradition began.
But we were still playing it only for special occasions such as Opening Day, national holidays and World Series games.
In 1931, “The Star-Spangled Banner” became our National Anthem.
During World War II, a recording played it at every ball game. It was cemented as a ritual and spread to other sports.
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