Star Spangled Banner Investigation on History Detectives

PBS History Detectives - 1/11/2013

On January 8, 2013, PBS series History Detectives aired an episode featuring University Archives president John Reznikoff.

A Eugene, Oregon woman was helping her father pack up his house when she found a yellowed document tucked away inside his desk. It had been there for nearly sixty years. She soon discovered it was a handwritten manuscript for The Star Spangled Banner.

Her father got the manuscript in 1935 as a gift from his mentor, Arnold J. Gantvoort. Ganvoort was part of a committee to create an official, standardized version of the National Anthem. Appraisers at Antiques Roadshow valued the music at $10,000-$15,000.

History Detectives host, Elyse Luray set out to determine what role this document played in the creation of our national anthem. With John’s help, she investigates the importance of the document, which leads to a wonderful additional to the Fort McHenry memorial site. Click here to see the video of this investigation!