Nugget of Knowledge: National Anthem history

The "Star-Spangled Banner" didn't become our National Anthem until 1931

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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