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Smithsonian features US national anthem in Spanish

Thursday - 9/27/2012, 2:41am  ET

BRETT ZONGKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A little-known official translation of the U.S. national anthem to be sung in Spanish is now part of the Smithsonian Institution's collection.

After World War II, musician and composer Clotilde Arias was commissioned by the U.S. State Department to write a translation that could be sung to the original "Star-Spangled Banner" tune. Curators say it was sent to U.S. embassies in Latin America.

There are few records of this translation ever being performed, though. Now the National Museum of American History plans to bring it to a live audience. Performances by a full choir are planned for Saturday afternoon.

An exhibit opening Saturday will feature Arias' life. The Peruvian immigrant also wrote jingles for U.S. companies, including Ford Motor Co., Kraft Velveeta cheese and Alka-Seltzer for their Spanish marketing.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)