The USS Constitution
is still afloat
The ship USS Constitution is docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard in neighboring Charlestown and is one of the stops on Boston's historic Freedom Trail.
She is one of the six ships ordered to be constructed by none other than George Washington himself. To put her age and durability into context the U.S.S. Constitution is one the U.S. Navy's six original frigates. I think that this is what endears this ship to say many people is the age of the vessel and the history which still lives on.
Launched in 1797, "Old Ironsides" as she is known sailed her way into the history books by first taking on the pirate ships that operated around Northern Africa. Then in an act of tactical superiority severely hamstrung the British fleet in the War of 1812.
AKA Old Ironsides
She got her name due to the cannonballs bouncing of her sides during the war of 1812. This remarkable battleship fought in 40 naval battles, and never lost. It started the rise as the United States as maritime power, though she would have to wait a couple of years before they could truly challenge the British for dominance of the world's seas. The U.S.S. Constitution remains the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.
Though it doesn't go out under its own steam any more it still goes on its yearly 'cruise' into the harbor every 4th of July. An important part of Boston's July 4th (Independence Day) celebrations, the U.S.S. Constitution's annual "turnaround" into the Boston Harbor to Castle Island and cannon salute brings visitors from all over.
Boats from near and far come to slowly follow Old Ironsides through the Harbor and hundreds of people line themselves along the piers to catch a glimpse of this annual event. Many local tour boat companies offer harbor cruises for this event at very reasonable prices.
The USS Constitution Museum brings to life the stories of the individuals who authorized, built, served on and preserved USS Constitution.There are tours every 30 minutes that led by an active-duty sailor in an 1812 dress uniform. The tour lasts approximately 30-45 minutes and consists of the deck and first floor where the canons are. The best part of this tour is that its free.
All visitors to the ship are required to go through a security screening process to ensure the safety of the ship, its guests and crew. Please keep in mind that this is still a naval yard so security can be tight at times. Other than that, this is a delightful tour to go on. The USS Constitution is still going strong.
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