1. The Weather: After severe thunderstorms Thursday afternoon and evening, Friday looks to be nicer, according to the National Weather Service. Today is expected to be partly sunny, with a high of about 79. Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of about 52.
2. From history.com's This Day in History: "On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America's national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' The poem, originally titled 'The Defence of Fort McHenry,' was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the 'Star-Spangled Banner': 'And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.'"
Also on this date, children's book author Roald Dahl was born (1916) and rap singer Tupac Shakur died (1996).
3. Fort McHenry kicks off its two-day Defenders Day celebration in the national spotlight today when elected leaders and National Park Service and government officials unveil the Fort McHenry quarter, the latest in the U.S. Mint's America the Beautiful quarter program.
4. The Maryland Defense Force Band will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg with a free concert of Civil War-era music at 3 p.m. Sunday at Dundalk United Methodist Church, 6903 Mornington Road.