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War of 1812 Visitor Center Grand Opening

Date & Time: Friday, August 24, 10 am
Description: Come and celebrate the kick off of the War of 1812 Bicentennial with the Grand Opening of the War of 1812 Visitor Center! The Grand Opening starts 2 years of celebrations and events centered around Maryland’s involvement in the War of 1812 and early 19th century history.

This Center commemorates one of the most significant battles and American defeats of the War of 1812, and interprets the County’s involvement in what is often termed the “forgotten war.” In August 1814 as the War drew to a close, 4,000 British soldiers marched through Prince George’s County on their way to Washington DC. In Bladensburg, on August 24, they were confronted by 6,000 Maryland militia and marines, but when the British attacked, the American militia abandoned the field. Only American Commodore Joshua Barney and his 400 sailors and marines valiantly stood and fought, retreating only when they were badly outnumbered and outflanked by the British. The British victory at Bladensburg left Washington exposed to attack. President Madison and his cabinet were forced to flee as the British burned the White House, the Capitol, and other government buildings.

The Center will highlight our County’s involvement in the war and the many riveting stories that resulted: the British encampments in Nottingham on August 21 of 1814; the scuttling of Joshua Barney’s fleet in the Patuxent River the following day; the arrest of Dr. William Beanes and the efforts of Francis Scott Key to help with his release-which lead to the writing of the poem that became our nation’s most beloved song, The Star Spangled Banner;" to the actions of John Hodges to release the town of Upper Marlboro’s imprisoned British soldiers; and the affect of the Battle of Bladensburg on the nearby residents who witnessed it such as Rosalie Calvert and her family…Prince George’s County has a wonderful 1812 story to tell. Stop by the Battle of Bladensburg Visitor’s Center to learn all about it.
Cost: FREE 
Ages: All ages 
Location: Bladensburg Waterfront Park
4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg 20710  
Contact: 301-779-0371; TTY 301-699-2544 
Click here to RSVP.