Along a quiet street lined by churches and trees stands a monument to the author of the Star Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key’s return from the British ship from which he was held captive during the attack on Fort McHenry is forever immortalized. Standing in the skiff holding the parchment on which the words for the Star Spangled banner is held by Francis Scott Key. Presenting it to Columbia, who holds the flag to the heaven represents the United States of America.
The monument was placed in 1911 and created by French sculptor Jean Marius Antonin Mercie.
An interesting building stands next to the monument. With three gilded domes, this previous Jewish synagogue is now the home for the The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland. Also of historical significance, this Mason lodge traces its history back to 1784. Originating in New England, Prince Hall became the father of black stone masonry.
Notable members of this mason’s lodge are the first African American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and James Hubert “Eubie” Blake, a composer, lyricist, and pianist who played ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In collaboration with arranger Noble Sissle, Blake wrote the Broadway Shuffle Along in 1921, the first Broadway musical ever written by African Americans. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the lodge in 1964 on behalf of President Johnson’s election campaign. (source: http://www.pennsylvaniaavenuebaltimore.com/attractions/grandlodge.html).
“The statesman’s task is to hear God’s footsteps marching through history, and to try and catch on to His coattails as He marches past. ” ― Otto von Bismarck