USS Constitution Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

USS Constitution Museum

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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About USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution Museum is a floating museum dedicated to the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy that has survived to this day.

USS Constitution Museum history

Prior to independence, Brotain’s thirteen North American colonies enjoyed protection from pirates and foreign navies under the British Royal Navy. Once the United States gained its independence after the American Revolution, however, the young nation needed to protect itself.

In 1794, Congress authorized the construction of the first six warships to comprise the new United States Navy. Each of the six vessles were built at various ports along the eastern coast.

USS Constitution was built at Hartt’s shipyard in the North End of Boston. Construction began in 1794 and Constitution launched on the 21 October, 1797. She went on her first cruise the next year as the Quasi-War with France emerged. Later she served in engagements with pirates off the Barbary coast in the Mediterranean.

The greatest glory for the ship came during the War of 1812. USS Constitution’s crew defeated four British frigates during three separate engagements. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” because the cannon fire from enemy ships seemed as if they couldn’t penetrate her strong oak hull.

Before and after these voyages, Constitution had to undergo constant repairs and refits. Most of that work throughout her service was here in Boston at the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Established in 1800, the yard was one of six commissioned for the purpose of keeping the Navy afloat. After over 200 years in the Navy, Constitution still calls Charlestown home and relies on the same facilities for maintenance and repair.

USS Constitution Museum today

Naval officers and crew still serve aboard USS Constitution to this day. The Navy operates the ship as a historic site in cooperation with the National Park Service.

The Naval History and Heritage Command, Detachment Boston, is housed in Building 24 and is responsible for the maintenance, repair and restoration of USS Constitution at the Navy Yard.

Across the pier from Constitution in Building 22 is the USS Constitution Museum. The Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution and provides engaging and hands-on experiences for all visitors.

Getting to the USS Constitution Museum

Located right next to Boston National Historic Park, The USS Constitution Museum does not have a physical street address. For this reason, the museum’s webiste recommends entering in the Nautica Parking Garage into GPS Navigation.

If travelling to the museum via the Subway to reach the Charlestown Navy Yard, the closest stops are Bunker Hill Community College (Orange Line) and North Station (Green Line).


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