#970 USS Constitution
Posted by Erin on September 16, 2011
Also known as Old Ironsides, USS Constitution is berthed at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. Built in Boston at Edmund Hartt’s Shipyard, she was launched in 1797 (it took three tries to get her in the water). She is the oldest commissioned warship afloat. Afloat being the difference between USS Constitution and the British warship HMS Victory launched 30 years before in 1765 which has the distinction of being the oldest naval ship still in commission (currently a museum ship on drydock in Portsmouth, England).
In 1996, when Old Ironsides was re-rigged and had new sails bent on for the first time in about 100 years, USCG Barque Eagle and HMS Bounty were both on hand to provide sail training to the naval sailors. Today, the crew consists of active duty U.S. Navy personel and command of the vessel is assigned to a Navy commander.
All of that is pretty cool. But what’s even cooler is that this two hundred and fourteen year old ship is still around and still kind of sails (Ok, towed once a year on the turn around cruise). A true, tangible piece of our American maritime history that you can experience. Touch it, feel it, smell it, love it – it’s awesome.
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