Standing For The Star-Spangled Banner

Tacoma, Washington

756 Broadway

Tacoma's Bostwick Building was built as the Hotel Bostwick back in 1889. It served as the meeting place for the local chapter of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States of America, a veterans organization. It was at one of the group's meetings on October 18, 1893 that member Rossell G. O'Brien stood and removed his hat as the Star-Spangled Banner was played, and he encouraged other members to do the same. This started what would become the tradition of standing for what would become the national anthem.

O'Brien was an Irish immigrant who fought for the Union during the Civil War when he was just 16 years old. He moved to Washington Territory in 1870, where he organized and served as the first commander of the Washington National Guard. O'Brien went on to become Olympia's mayor in 1891.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution in 1973 that recognized O'Brien for establishing this tradition.


tacoma standing for the star-spangled banner historical marker

Standing for the Star-Spangled Banner (T15A0035)


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