The museum ship USS Constitution

Friday, 1 February 2013 - 01:04 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Tall ships, Museums, Exhibitions, Yacht of the Month
Reading Time:  9 minutes

USS Constitution sails into Boston Harbor during an underway Battle of Midway commemoration © U.S. Navy - Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald

USS Constitution sails into Boston Harbor during an underway Battle of Midway commemoration
© U.S. Navy – Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald

USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. Launched in 1797, Constitution was one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed. Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy’s capital ships, and so Constitution and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. Built in Boston, Massachusetts, at Edmund Hartt‘s shipyard, her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.

Constitution is most famous for her actions during the War of 1812 against Great Britain, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships: HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane and Levant. The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname of “Old Ironsides” and public adoration that has repeatedly saved her from scrapping. She continued to actively serve the nation as flagship in the Mediterranean and African squadrons, and circled the world in the 1840s. During the American Civil War she served as a training ship for the United States Naval Academy and carried artwork and industrial displays to the Paris Exposition of 1878. Retired from active service in 1881, she served as a receiving ship until designated a museum ship in 1907 and in 1934 she completed a three-year, 90-port tour of the nation. Constitution sailed under her own power for her 200th birthday in 1997, and again in August 2012, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over Guerriere.

USS Constitution fires its starboard guns in Massachusetts Bay © U.S. Navy - Chief Photographer John E. Gay Chase of the Constitution by a squadron of British warships in July 1812 by Anton Otto Fischer © U.S. Naval Historical Center USS Constitution sails into Boston Harbor during an underway Battle of Midway commemoration © U.S. Navy - Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald USS Constitution at Castle Island © USS Constitution Facebook Page USS Constitution © U.S. Navy - Journalist 2nd Class Todd Stevens USS Constitution in Downtown Boston © U.S. Navy - Journalist 1st Class Matt Chabe
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USS Constitution sails into Boston Harbor during an underway Battle of Midway commemoration © U.S. Navy - Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald
Constitution’s stated mission today is to promote understanding of the Navy’s role in war and peace through educational outreach, historic demonstration, and active participation in public events. As a fully commissioned US Navy ship, her crew of 60 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping the ship open to visitors year round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty US Navy personnel and the assignment is considered special duty in the Navy. Traditionally, command of the vessel is assigned to a Navy Commander. She is berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard, at one end of Boston’s Freedom Trail. As early as 1991, Commander David Cashman had suggested that Constitution should sail, rather than be towed, to celebrate her 200th anniversary in 1997. The proposal was approved, though it was thought to be a large undertaking since she had not sailed in over 100 years. When she emerged from drydock in 1995, a more serious effort began to prepare her for sail. As in the 1920s, education programs aimed at school children helped collect pennies to purchase the sails to make the voyage possible. Eventually her six-sail battle configuration would consist of jibs, topsails, and driver.

On July 21, she was towed 5 nautical miles (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) offshore, where the tow line was dropped and Commander Beck ordered six sails set (jibs, topsails, and spanker). She then sailed for 40 minutes on a south-south-east course with true wind speeds of about 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph), attaining a top recorded speed of 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph). While under sail, her modern US naval combatant escorts, the guided missile destroyer Ramage and frigate Halyburton, rendered passing honors to “Old Ironsides”, and she was overflown by the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels. Inbound to her permanent berth at Charlestown she rendered a 21-gun salute to the nation off Fort Independence in Boston Harbor.

Read more on history.navy.mil – USS Constitution, USS Constitution Museum and Wikipedia USS Constitution. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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