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1930s & Earlier / Star-Spangled Banner Becomes US National Anthem - 1931
On November 3, 1929, Robert Ripley drew a panel in his syndicated cartoon, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, saying "Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem". This news startled a great many people who thought The Star-Spangled Banner, written as a poem by Francis Scott Key, had long been America's official national anthem. It hadn't. For years, Hail Columbia had served that purpose on official government occasions. My Country 'Tis of Thee was also frequently used. In 1931, John Philip Sousa published his opinion in favor of the Star-Spangled Banner, stating "...it is the spirit of the music that inspires" as much as it is Key’s "soul-stirring" words. By a law signed on March 3, 1931 by President Herbert Hoover, The Star-Spangled Banner was finally adopted as the national anthem of the United States.