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Dates That Matter

August 19, 1812

The USS Constitution, called "Old Ironsides," proves its worth in battle.

 Why does it matter?

The USS Constitution, a naval ship during the War of 1812, was nicknamed Old Ironsides because of its strength in battle. It was actually made of wood, as all ships were at this time. The ship's most famous battle was against the British ship HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia, when it earned the nickname. Today the ship, one of the original frigates built for the Navy in 1794, is the oldest commissioned ship still afloat in the world, and remains under the command of the US Navy. Today, she is generally docked in Boston Harbor, but is still periodically put under sail.

For more information...

Official Homepage of USS Constitution
The official site of the battleship today. Includes a virtual tour and information about its current crew.

MaritimeQuest--USS Constitution
Lovely photo gallery of the USS Constitution, both in dock and under sail.

Old Ironsides
A link to the poem by Oliver Wendall Holmes about Old Ironsides.