The Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center tells the story of the consequential battle during the War of 1812 that resulted in a decisive British victory and allowed to march on to Washington D.C. The battle took place on August 24, 1814, not far from where the center is today. The British army was outnumbered but much of the American force was poorly trained. This, coupled with strategic mistakes on the American side, resulted in the British victory.
When the British army reached Washington D.C., they burned down several government buildings including the White House, the Capitol building, and the Library of Congress. Despite this defeat, the British ultimately ended the war on American terms in 1815. The visitor center features historical and archaeological artifacts from a British troop encampment and displays photographs, artifacts, and other media. The center and the waterfront park are a part of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.