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About Friends of Fort McHenry

Our Mission

The Friends of Fort McHenry is the recognized non-profit fundraising partner for Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.

Our mission, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is to support the development and implementation of educational programming and living history activities, and the creation of interpretive exhibits and visitor facilities that best engender the widest possible understanding and appreciation of Fort McHenry and the enduring legacy and promise of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our National Anthem.


The Friends achieve this mission through generous support provided by individuals, businesses and foundations who value our heritage and the impact that history can have upon our young people.


Our Founding

Founded in 1984, The Friends of Fort McHenry, a program of Living Classrooms Foundation, are the primary advocates for Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine.  Through fundraising initiatives like the one that constructed the state-of-the-art Visitor Center and outreach efforts with local, state, and national leaders, the Friends work to ensure the widest possible appreciation of Fort McHenry’s enduring legacy and the fort’s survival as an “historic shrine” for future generations of Americans.


As the birthplace of our national anthem, Fort McHenry’s significance as a national park is well known. The Friends, along with the National Park Service’s “Every Kid Outdoors” Initiative, focuses much of their efforts on ensuring schoolchildren in the City of Baltimore, Maryland, and across our nation appreciate “The Star-Spangled Banner” as well as Fort McHenry’s significance in its creation and our nation’s history. 


Our Advisory Board

Dave Arndt
Morgan "Trip" Bailey

​Jeffery Buchheit
David Carrodine
Eric Fischer
William Pencek

George Rich
Damon Roach
Hugh Sisson

BGEN Warner Sumpter
Brian White

Emeritus Council

Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

Delegate Brian McHale

Governor Martin O'Malley

The Honorable Paul Sarbanes

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