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Today in History: July 4th, 1960

Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

The First Official Raising of the 50-Star American Flag

On July 4, 1960, a historic event took place at Fort McHenry National Historic Site in Baltimore, Maryland. This day marked the first official raising of the American flag featuring 50 stars, symbolizing the addition of Hawaii as the 50th state. Celebrated on Independence Day, this event was a significant moment of national pride and unity.

The American flag has evolved over the years with each new state’s admission to the Union. Hawaii, the newest state, was admitted on August 21, 1959, prompting the addition of a 50th star to the flag. The updated flag was officially adopted on July 4, 1960, aligning perfectly with the nation’s Independence Day celebrations.

An American flag waving.
A 50-star American Flag flies on December 16, 2007. (Photo Credit: Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images)

Fort McHenry was chosen for this important ceremony due to its rich historical significance. During the War of 1812, the fort successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from British forces. This victory inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which later became the national anthem. Holding the flag-raising ceremony at this historic site highlighted the fort’s enduring symbol of American resilience and patriotism.

The ceremony on July 4, 1960, was a grand affair. Military personnel, local dignitaries, and citizens gathered to witness the historic moment. The raising of the 50-star flag was accompanied by patriotic speeches and dedications, celebrating both the nation’s growth and its enduring values of freedom and unity. The event underscored the significance of the day, linking the past with the present in a powerful display of national pride.

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Since that day, the 50-star flag has been the official flag of the United States, representing the unity of all 50 states. The first official raising of the flag at Fort McHenry on July 4, 1960, remains a memorable and important event in American history, symbolizing the ongoing story of a nation built on the principles of independence and democracy.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News