Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry is a historical American coastal pentagonal bastion fort located in the Locust Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy from the Chesapeake Bay on September 13–14, 1814, it was first built in 1798 and was used continuously by the U. S. armed forces through World War I and by the Coast Guard in World War II. It was designated a national park in 1925, in 1939 was redesignated a "National Monument and Historic Shrine". During the War of 1812 an American storm flag, 17 by 25 feet, was flown over Fort McHenry during the bombardment, it was replaced early on the morning of September 14, 1814 with a larger American garrison flag, 30 by 42 feet. The larger flag signaled American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight of the ensign inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry", set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" and became known as "The Star Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States.

Fort McHenry was built on the site of the former Fort Whetstone, which had defended Baltimore from 1776 to 1797. Fort Whetstone stood on Whetstone Point peninsula, which juts into the opening of Baltimore Harbor between the Basin and Northwest branch on the north side and the Middle and Ferry branches of the Patapsco River on the south side; the Frenchman Jean Foncin designed the fort in 1798, it was built between 1798 and 1800. The new fort's purpose was to improve the defenses of the important Port of Baltimore from future enemy attacks; the new fort was a bastioned pentagon, surrounded by a dry moat -- a broad trench. The moat would serve as a shelter. In case of such an attack on this first line of defense, each point, or bastion could provide a crossfire of cannon and small arms fire. Fort McHenry was named after early American statesman James McHenry, a Scots-Irish immigrant and surgeon-soldier, he was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland and a signer of the United States Constitution.

Afterwards, he was appointed United States Secretary of War, serving under Presidents George Washington and John Adams. Beginning at 6:00 a.m. on September 13, 1814, British warships under the command of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane continuously bombarded Fort McHenry for 25 hours. The American defenders had 24 - and 32-pounder cannons; the British guns had a range of 2 miles, the British rockets had a 1.75-mile range, but neither guns nor rockets were accurate. The British ships were unable to pass Fort McHenry and penetrate Baltimore Harbor because of its defenses, including a chain of 22 sunken ships, the American cannons; the British vessels were only able to fire their rockets and mortars at the fort at the weapons' maximum range. The poor accuracy on both sides resulted in little damage to either side before the British, having depleted their ammunition, ceased their attack on the morning of September 14, thus the naval part of the British invasion of Baltimore had been repulsed. Only one British warship, a bomb vessel, received a direct hit from the fort's return fire, which wounded one crewman.

The Americans, under the command of Major George Armistead, lost four killed—including one Black soldier, Private William Williams, a woman, cut in half by a bomb as she carried supplies to the troops—and 24 wounded. At one point during the bombardment, a bomb crashed through the fort's powder magazine. However, either the rain extinguished the bomb was a dud. Francis Scott Key, a Washington lawyer who had come to Baltimore to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes, a civilian prisoner of war, witnessed the bombardment from a nearby truce ship. An oversized American flag had been sewn by Mary Pickersgill for $405.90 in anticipation of the British attack on the fort. When Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14, he was so moved that he began that morning to compose "Defence of Fort M'Henry" set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" which would be renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and become the United States' national anthem. During the American Civil War the area where Fort McHenry sits served as a military prison, confining both Confederate soldiers, as well as a large number of Maryland political figures who were suspected of being Confederate sympathizers.

The imprisoned included newly elected Baltimore Mayor George William Brown, the city council, the new police commissioner, George P. Kane, members of the Maryland General Assembly along with several newspaper editors and owners. Francis Scott Key's grandson, Francis Key Howard, was one of these political detainees; some of the cells used still can be visited at the fort. A drama beginning the famous Supreme Court case involving the night arrest in Baltimore County and imprisonment here of John Merryman and the upholding of his demand for a writ of habeas corpus for release by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney occurred at the gates between Court and Federal Marshals and the commander of Union troops occupying the Fort under orders from President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Fort McHenry served to train artillery at this time. During World War I, an additional hundred-odd buildings were built on the land surrounding the fort in order to convert the entire facility into an enormous U. S. Army hospital for the treatment of troops returning from the European conflict.

Only a few of these buildings

Willy den Ouden

Willemijntje den Ouden was a competitive swimmer from the Netherlands, who held the 100-meter freestyle world record for nearly 23 years, from 1933 to 1956. Den Ouden was a daughter of Willemijntje Kuipers and Antonius Victor Jozephus den Ouden, a café owner in Rotterdam, a town, the swimming center of the Netherlands. In 1931, at the age of 13, she became the Rotterdamsche Dames Zwemclub champion in her favorite discipline, 100m freestyle and broke the Dutch national record on that distance by 1.4 seconds with a time of 1:10.4. A year Den Ouden came in the international limelight when she participated at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and won two of the five contestable silver medals in swimming. In the series, she broke the Olympic record on the 100 m; these accomplishments attracted wide attention since as a 14-year old she was the youngest Olympic participant. Four years at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, she was favored to win the same race, but came in fourth place in the final.

She did win the gold medal in the women's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay with her compatriots Tini Wagner, Rie Mastenbroek and Jopie Selbach. However, the diminutive Den Ouden -she reached 1.55 m - was far more successful between these two Olympic games. At the 1934 European Championships in Magdeburg she won all three contests she participated in, though her shared win at the 400 m race with Rie Mastenbroek led only to a silver medal when she refused to swim the race again to decide a winner. On July 9, 1933 in Antwerp, she broke Helene Madison's two-year-old world record on the 100 m freestyle, setting it at 1:06.0. She would improve on this three times, swimming 1:04.8 in April 1934 and reaching 1:04.6 on 27 February 1936 in Amsterdam. This record would last until 1956 when it was broken twice within ten days by Dawn Fraser and Cocky Gastelaars, respectively. Thus, she held the world record for the top event in swimming for an unequalled 22 years and 8 months. Den Ouden further broke the world records on the 200 m freestyle, the 400 m freestyle, the now defunct distances of 100 yd, 150 yd, 220 yd, 300 yd, 400 yd, 300 m, 500 m freestyle.

She was the anchor swimmer for the Dutch relay teams that broke the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay record in 1934 and in 1936. On February 4, 1934, she became the first woman to swim 100 yards in under a minute. In 1935 she held all 10 world-records freestyle swimming for shorter simultaneously, she retired from competitive swimming in 1938, at the age of 20, after obtaining a silver medal at the European Championship's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay. She set her eyes on an acting career and in 1939 she was cast in the Belgian movie Van het een komt het ander; however the outbreak of the Second World War stopped the production. The German invasion of the Netherlands piled on the misery: Den Ouden was engaged, but her fiancé's family fled to America just before the invasion, her parental house was destroyed on May 14, 1940 in the bombing of Rotterdam. Most if not all of her medals and prizes were lost in the burning rubble. Den Ouden herself fled to England, where in October 1943 she married Staffan Broms, son of a Swedish diplomat stationed in London.

The couple moved to Saltsjöbaden in Sweden after the wedding, but the marriage didn't last and in 1946 Den Ouden returned to Rotterdam. She married twice more, her last marriage only lasted half a year. Den Ouden spent her further life in anonymity although she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1970. List of members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame World record progression 100 metres freestyle World record progression 200 metres freestyle World record progression 400 metres freestyle


Kareem Rhouila, better known as Stylah, is a South London rapper from Greenwich, London. He has described himself as half Moroccan. After being interested in music for some time, he decided to pursue music seriously, his first offering, 2004's Prince of Thieves which he single-handedly sold 9000 copies of on the streets of London and other cities sprung one single called "Warfare Part II" featuring Serious. Prince of Thieves caused a huge buzz for Stylah, he was soon recruited as the final piece of the jigsaw for London-based underground hip-hop group, the Poisonous Poets which consists of Lowkey, Tony D, Doc Brown, Reveal, DJ Snips and Stylah. He is a member of the international Catch 22 network started by Kool G Rap which includes Immortal Technique, Ruff Ryders producer Elite, Scram Jones, Lowkey, DJ Snips and many more. Stylah released the mixtape Crash Course with DJ Snips in 2006 and took the same approach as his first CD by selling it straight to the streets with his Street Team including distributor D Raw.

The CD was on sale in HMV and Virgin Megastores. With this mixtape, Stylah toured up and down the country many times doing shows and promoting his CD, it has had many reviews that have outlined Stylah's ability to better the original songs that he features on. Quotes can be seen on Stylah's Myspace. In 2009 due to label delays with his album, Stylah decided he needed to release another mix CD to keep the audience's attention and released The Warning hosted by celebrity gangster Dave Courtney – the CD was available for free download from Stylah was scheduled to release his debut album Treading Water in 2010, he has featured on many UK songs to create a bigger buzz before the release. He had many offers by record labels for his album but so far has not signed any deal. Two songs from Treading Water were leaked before release. UK producer Chemo confirmed songs on the album. Another song, titled "Them Boys" produced by Australia's Styalz Fuego and featuring New York City rapper Grafh, was confirmed for Treading Water.

Stylah's HipHopGameUK Interview Stylah's UKHH Interview Stylah's Myspace Poisonous Poets' Myspace Stylah's Rapnews Interview