This Day in Pop Culture for September 14

Star Spangled Banner

1814: The Star-Spangled Banner

In 1814, America was at war with Britain. Baltimore was the nation’s third-largest city and it was there that British warships planned an attack in hopes of neutralizing Fort McHenry which protected the city’s harbor entrance. It was about 6:30 a.m. on September 13 when the attacks of 2,000 shells and 800 rockets began being fired at the fortress. The attacks lasted for 24 hours. Above the scene flew a 42-foot by 30-foot American flag which caught the attention of Francis Scott Key who witnessed the attack from a ship in the harbor. This event gave him the inspiration to write the poem, “Defence of Fort M’Henry” on this day in 1814. Later, the words were set to the song, “The Anacreontic Song” which was written by John Stafford Smith in 1776. The song had been used as a club anthem of the Anacreontic Society, an amateur men’s music club in London. The new combo became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson named the song the national anthem of all of the U.S. armed forces. Then in 1931, as an Act of Congress, the song became America’s national anthem. (Image: Pixabay)

1965:  Second-Worst TV Series Airs

In 2002, TV Guide stated that My Mother the Car, which debuted for the first time on this day in 1965, was the second-worst TV series to have been produced just behind The Jerry Springer Show. The program starred Jerry Van Dyke who bought a run down 1928 Porter touring car only to find out that is was a reincarnation of his dead mother who only speaks to him. Anne Southern spoke for voice of the car. Though it was panned by critics and viewers alike, NBC aired all 30 episodes. The show was co-created by Allan Burns and Chris Hayward who had better success with later series including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda (Burns) and Barney Miller (Hayward).


1939: The First Helicopter is Flown

It was on this day in 1939 that the VS-300, the world’s first helicopter took to the skies in Stratford, Connecticut. It was designed and piloted by Igor Sikorsky. The first flight lasted just a few seconds, but it was a start. The first free flight took place half a year later. With little more than just an outline of a flying machine and three-blade rotor with a length of 28 feet, it was a sight to see.

Movies Released

  • A Simple Favor (2018)
  • Across the Universe (2007)
  • Mr. Woodcock (2007)
  • The Magnificent Seven (2016)

TV Series Debuts

  • Adventures of the Gummy Bears (1985)
  • F-Troop (1965)
  • Mork & Mindy (1978)
  • My Mother the Car (1965)
  • The Care Bears (1985)
  • The Golden Girls (1985)
  • The Waltons (1972)
  • Total Request Live (1998)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1914: Clayton Moore (actor)
  • 1947: Sam Neill (actor)
  • 1960: Melissa Leo (actress)
  • 1964: Faith Ford (actress)
  • 1971: Kimberly Williams-Paisley (actress)
  • 1983: Amy Winehouse (singer)

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