Two hundred years ago, a small coastal nation, experiencing the growing pains of its recent independence, found itself at war with its former colonial master – the most powerful nation in the world.
The United States, independent for less than 30 years, went to war with Great Britain again in 1812 to preserve its economy, its way of life and its independence – and the US Navy emerged as the key to victory.
Born of necessity and forged in battle, the US Navy, in its infancy, took on the world’s mightiest fleet and proved to be a force of innovation, technology, esprit and expert seamanship. The US Navy kept the sea and America free during the War of 1812 – and continues to do so today.
During this "Second War of Independence," when Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the “Star Spangled Banner," the Navy proved that it was essential to our nation’s defense and prosperity by protecting national commerce, enforcing trade laws, and ensuring freedom of the seas. The Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812 and the Star Spangled Banner honors this legacy and reminds Americans that freedom of the seas and the free flow of commerce remain as important to our nation today as they were 200 years ago.
Beginning on April 16, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Coast Guard will commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and The Star Spangled Banner. The Navy has partnered with the International Council of Air Shows, the Navy League, the Naval Historical Foundation, and Operation Sail (OpSail) to create world-class events around the country, with signature events in New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, and Cleveland, and smaller events in other cities.
These events include Blue Angels air shows, visits by ships of the US Navy and international navies, parades of tall ships and “Galley Wars” cook off events.
To plan your visit, click the EVENTS links for a detailed schedule for each.