WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) to create a special Commission to plan, coordinate and facilitate the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, often referred to as the Second American Revolution.
The bill, S. 518, calls for creating a Star-Spangled Banner and War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission to plan for the appropriate commemoration of the historic events associated with the War of 1812. The legislation would establish a panel that includes the National Park Service and eminent historians from across America who have expertise in this important era.
In 2008, Congress passed legislation also sponsored by Senators Cardin and Mikulski to officially designate the Star-Spangled Banner Trail as a National Historic Trail in recognition of some the most historic sites from the War of 1812 in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
“With the bicentennial of the War of 1812 quickly approaching, today’s action by the Senate Judiciary Committee is needed to assure adequate time to plan for the proper recognition of this important period in our nation’s history,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Judiciary Committee. “This Commission will help provide Americans and visitors alike with a better understanding and appreciation of our heritage, as well as ensure that the War’s 200th anniversary will be commemorated appropriately.”
“I am proud of Maryland’s rich heritage and culture,” said Senator Mikulski. “This Commission will help ensure that the upcoming bi-centennial celebration of key moments in Maryland and American history – our victory in the war of 1812 and the composition of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore – is planned in a way to engage and inspire the people of Maryland. I look forward to the Commission’s work in bringing people together from around the country to celebrate America and learn more about Maryland’s special history.”
In 1999, as a Congressman, then-Rep. Cardin introduced legislation directing the National Park Service to conduct a study of the feasibility of designating routes used by the British and Americans during the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812 as a National Historic Trail. The study was completed in 2004 and recommended that the proposed Star-Spangled Banner Trail be established by Congress. The study also recommended that a War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission be created to coordinate the 200th anniversary celebration of the War of 1812.