A Brief History
On July 20, 1997, the famous American warship, the USS Constitution, better known as “Old Ironsides,” celebrated 200 years of service by embarking on a cruise under her own sails for the first time in 116 years!
The now restored heavy frigate was launched in 1797 to serve the fledgling US Navy, enforcing freedom with her armament of 30 24 pounder cannons and 20 32 pounder cannons. With a crew of 450, the wooden sailing ship counted 30 “boys” among her crew.
Highly successful in battle during the War of 1812, Old Ironsides earned her nickname in a battle with HMS Guerriere, many cannon balls bouncing off the tough oak sides of the Constitution.
Retired in 1881 and designated a museum ship in 1907, Constitution has served as a warship and then as a symbol of the US Navy and of the United States of America.
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For more information, please see…
Fitz-Enz, David. Old Ironsides: Eagle of the Sea: The Story of the USS Constitution. Taylor Trade Publishing, 2005.
Marquardt, Karl. The 44-Gun Frigate USS Constitution ‘Old Ironsides.’ Osprey, 2005.
The featured image in this article, a U.S. Navy Photograph by Journalist 2nd Class Todd Stevens, is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, it is in the public domain in the United States.
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