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Today was a happy day for the Trekkers because Alfonso and David were reunited with Frank.  Frank has moved to Maryland so we haven’t seen him in a while.  Our visit also coincided with the 2012 Inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.  So come trekking with us to Virginia’s neighbor to the north and Frank’s new home state, Maryland!  Visit Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, in 1814; find out why there’s a statue of the Greek poet Orpheus on the grounds of the fort; explore Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and see where David lost his keys (again!); witness President Barack Obama getting sworn into his 2nd term in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., then travel back to Maryland for our closing atop Sugarloaf Mountain; Come on, let’s go trekkin’!

Updated 10/4/2013

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SOL Correlation:

K.9 The student will recognize the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance, and know that the President is the leader of the United States.


1.11 The student will recognize the symbols and traditional practices that honor and foster patriotism in the United States by

  1. a)identifying the American flag, bald eagle, Washington Monument, and Statue of Liberty;

  2. b)demonstrating respect for the American flag by learning about the Pledge of Allegiance.


3.1 The student will explain how the contributions of ancient Greece and Rome have influenced the present in terms of architecture, government (direct and representative democracy), and sports.


3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, who are united by the basic principles of a republican form of government and respect for individual rights and freedoms.


VS.2a The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by locating Virginia and its bordering states on maps of the United States.


SE 1.2b The student will use maps, globes, photographs, pictures, or tables to

  1. b)locate and describe the location of the Southeast geographic region of the United States:

  2. c)locate and identify the land features, water features, and climate important to the early history of the Southeast region of the United States:

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was first called “Defence of Fort McHenry” when Francis Scott Key wrote the poem.  The title was later changed using words from the closing lines of the first stanza.  We only sing the first stanza, but there are three more.  When Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, he didn’t write the music to go along with it.  The tune was actually a popular British tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” composed by a teenager in England in the 1760’s named John Stafford Smith.  Adding new words to familiar tunes was a common practice.  Another one of our patriotic songs, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” borrows its tune from England’s national anthem, “God Save the Queen.” Even though Francis Scott Key wrote the song in 1814, it didn’t become our national anthem until over a hundred years later in 1931.  The actual flag that few above Fort McHenry that inspired the song still exists today, and is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It was sewn by Mary Young Pickersgill and only had 15 stars and 15 stripes since that’s how many states we had at that time. The flag was huge. It was 30 feet x 42 feet and weighed 50 pounds.  Each stripe was two feet wide, and each star was two feet long from point to point,  (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3)