West Carroll: Key's 'The Star-Spangled Banner' marks 88 years as our anthem

West Carroll: Key's 'The Star-Spangled Banner' marks 88 years as our anthem
Francis Scott Key High School students stand for the graduation ceremony at McDaniel College in Westminster Monday, June 4, 2018. The school is named for the anthem's author, who was born in nearby Keymar. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

March 3 marks the 88th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner” becoming the national anthem of the United States by congressional resolution, signed by President Herbert Hoover.

For some, this may be just a bit of trivia, but did you know there is a concrete connection right down the road in Keymar?


A granite obelisk with the inscription “Birthplace of Francis Scott Key, August 3, 1780 Erected by the Patriotic Order Sons of America and the pupils of the public schools” marks the site along Md. 194 in Keymar.

To learn more, check out the Smithsonian Channel website at or the U.S. Capital Visitors Center at

Taneytown branch library to host Photo Funnies display

What are Photo Funnies you ask? Check them out any time in the month of March at the Taneytown Library, 10 Grand Drive, during normal library hours. Roger Smith, the creator of the display said, “Basically, Photo Funnies are all natural, untouched G-rated photos of everyday occurrences or situations that are common all around us.”

Smith, having a lifelong interest in humor, first conceived of the idea of Photo Funnies as a high school student.

“I noticed a bumper sticker on a school bus announcing: ‘School's Open, Drive Carefully,’” Smith said.

He had an aha moment saying, “Light Bulb : DING ! It was summer, so according to Roger Logic, drivers are expected to not be careful when schools are closed.”

Smith, who was a science teacher for 10 years before becoming a nurse, always “stressed making careful observations, especially finding the humor, ironies, incongruities, or contradictions in the activities of everyday life.”

Smith’s photo cartoons have been published in hospital and college publications, as well as the Washington Times Magazine and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper.

Smith’s future plans include publishing a book (or two) of Photo Funnies “to emphasize the importance of careful observation skills.”

Silver Oak pancake dinner fundraiser

Silver Oak Academy will host a Pancake Dinner on Friday, March 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria, 999 Crouse Mill Road, Keymar.

Student Culinary Department will show off their many talents, aided by members of the Student Government Association, and members of the Jr. ROTC program with a menu that features homemade pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, and fresh fruit. Juice and coffee will also be served. The community is invited to come out and enjoy breakfast for dinner for just $10 per person.

Lora Andrews, workforce instructor at the Academy said, “It is exciting for us when we host events on our campus because our Student Culinary Department can show off their many talents. … It gives our students a chance to plan, prepare and produce an event to raise money for their school.”

Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to supplies needed for the various activities students are involved in, including tools for construction, culinary sets, and class trips. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Lora Andrews at 410-775-1745.

I am always looking for West Carroll events. If you have upcoming events you’d like to see written about in my column, send me an email!