USS Constitution Museum

USS Constitution Museum The Museum preserves and shares the stories of "Old Ironsides" and those who shaped her history with exhibits and programs for all ages. The USS Constitution Museum preserves and shares the stories of "Old Ironsides" and those who shaped her history with exhibits and programs for all ages.
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The USS Constitution Museum and the USS Constitution (the Ship) are operated by different organizations. See the Ship's website (http://www.navy.mil/local/constitution/) for the most up-to-date information about the Ship's public visitation hours.

Temporarily closed

During USS Constitution's World Cruise in the 1840s, Captain John Percival and his crew visited the nation of Hawaii and...
12/08/2020
Pearl Harbor and USS Constitution - USS Constitution Museum

During USS Constitution's World Cruise in the 1840s, Captain John Percival and his crew visited the nation of Hawaii and surveyed the region. Their recommendations eventually led to the United States building along the mouth of the Pearl River. Visit our blog to learn more: bit.ly/37y3imN

USS Constitution‘s centuries of service provide us with a window through which we can look deeply into the past. There are moments in “Old Ironsides'”. . .

12/07/2020
USS Constitution

USS Constitution

Join us today on the USS Cassin Young as we commemorate the loss of life from the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th, 1941. 2,403 Sailors, Marines, and civilians lost their life that day and it is up to us to remember them each and every year.

When looking at the roster of ships in Pearl Harbor on that “date which will live in infamy,” one finds familiar names o...
12/07/2020
USS Constitution and the Day of Infamy - USS Constitution Museum

When looking at the roster of ships in Pearl Harbor on that “date which will live in infamy,” one finds familiar names of former officers of USS Constitution, including Hull and Preble. A deeper look uncovers other ships with fascinating stories named after lesser known men with connections to "Old Ironsides." USS Ward is one of these. Learn more on our blog as we commemorate #PearlHarborRemembranceDay bit.ly/37rTz1u

Could you be a sailor in the War of 1812? Play "A Sailor’s Life for Me," our free online game and find out. Travel back ...
12/05/2020

Could you be a sailor in the War of 1812? Play "A Sailor’s Life for Me," our free online game and find out. Travel back in time and join the fight for freedom on the high seas! aslfm.org

12/04/2020
Tin Foil Boat Challenge

Are you ready for a challenge? Our Education Coordinator, Shannon Skilling, is calling all hands to build a tin foil boat that can carry as much weight as possible.

12/03/2020
International Sailors for the Nation’s Ship

Join us for this panel discussion about the experiences of foreign-born sailors in the U.S. Navy and on board USS Constitution. Ask our panelists questions in the comments below.

USS Constitution’s 1927-1931 restoration was the first time that souvenirs made from wood, copper, rope, and other mater...
12/03/2020
Announcing Souvenirs of "Old Ironsides" - USS Constitution Museum

USS Constitution’s 1927-1931 restoration was the first time that souvenirs made from wood, copper, rope, and other materials were sold to the public to raise funds for repair work. These souvenirs were also part of the campaign to reestablish “Old Ironsides” as an important historic American icon. Advertisements such as this one were used by the U.S. Navy to promote a variety of souvenirs for sale, including bookends, miniature cannon, ashtrays, plaques, and more. bit.ly/3fwYQZ2

USS Constitution’s 1927-1931 restoration in the Charlestown Navy Yard was the first 20th century drydocking of this ship. It was also the first time that souvenirs made from discarded materials from the ship were sold to the public to raise funds for repair work. These souvenirs, made from wood, c...

Join us for “International Sailors for the Nation's Ship,” a free virtual panel discussion on Thurs, Dec 3 at 6:00 PM ET...
12/02/2020

Join us for “International Sailors for the Nation's Ship,” a free virtual panel discussion on Thurs, Dec 3 at 6:00 PM ET. We'll explore the history and experiences of foreign-born sailors on USS Constitution and in the broader U.S. Navy. Register at bit.ly/334Gw4D.

The USS Constitution Museum is closing until further notice to minimize spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to f...
12/02/2020

The USS Constitution Museum is closing until further notice to minimize spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to fulfill our mission to engage all ages in the stories of “Old Ironsides” through robust and engaging virtual content. Stay tuned for upcoming programs, activities, videos, blog posts, and more!

In an eloquent and impassioned essay written in 1925, 13-year-old Julia Kochevar, a daughter of Slovenian immigrants, de...
12/02/2020
Julia Kochevar: A Young Voice for USS Constitution - USS Constitution Museum

In an eloquent and impassioned essay written in 1925, 13-year-old Julia Kochevar, a daughter of Slovenian immigrants, described USS Constitution as a source of American patriotism that must be preserved. At Julia’s school in Grand Junction, Colorado, and at more than 800 other schools across the United States, schoolchildren wrote essays and collected pennies to help pay for the restoration of a ship few of them had ever seen. Learn more about Julia and her award-winning essay on our blog: bit.ly/3jyKRUp

Grand Junction, Colorado is about as far away from any ocean as you can get in the United States. Located high up in the Rocky. . .

Give thanks for “Old Ironsides” and her gallant crew—past, present, and future. Help us continue to tell her story on #G...
12/01/2020

Give thanks for “Old Ironsides” and her gallant crew—past, present, and future. Help us continue to tell her story on #GivingTuesday bit.ly/3fpFuVX.
Photo Courtesy U.S. Navy

Join us this Thursday, Dec 3, at 6:00 PM ET for “International Sailors for the Nation's Ship,” a free virtual discussion...
11/30/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: International Sailors for the Nation's Ship. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

Join us this Thursday, Dec 3, at 6:00 PM ET for “International Sailors for the Nation's Ship,” a free virtual discussion exploring the history and experiences of foreign-born sailors on USS Constitution and in the broader U.S. Navy. Panelists include Nathan Perl-Rosenthal of USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Jason Petit-Frere of USS Constitution. Register at bit.ly/334Gw4D.

Join the USS Constitution Museum for International Sailors for the Nation's Ship, a free virtual panel discussion on Thursday, December 3 at 6 p.m. ET. This conversation will explore the history and experiences of foreign-born sailors on USS Constitution and in the broader U.S. Navy from the nation'...

Commander Louis J. Gulliver received orders to report to USS Constitution in March 1931, just as the old frigate was com...
11/30/2020
Louis Joseph Gulliver - USS Constitution Museum

Commander Louis J. Gulliver received orders to report to USS Constitution in March 1931, just as the old frigate was completing a four-year restoration funded in part by a "National Save 'Old Ironsides'" campaign. From 1931-1934, Gulliver led "Old Ironsides" on a National Cruise to thank American citizens for their support of the ship. He and his crew greeted more than 4.6 million visitors along the way. Read Gulliver's full biography at bit.ly/2ZURaKk

Born in Maine on November 6, 1883, Louis Gulliver attended public schools and then entered the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1903. He was commissioned an ensign four years later. He joined the battleship Illinois (BB-7) in August 1907 and participated in the circumnavigation of the Great White Fleet. H...

This #MuseumStoreSunday, shop our online store for great holiday gifts inspired by America's Ship of State, with special...
11/29/2020

This #MuseumStoreSunday, shop our online store for great holiday gifts inspired by America's Ship of State, with special holiday discounts! bit.ly/3kOlgWX

Explore everything our Virtual Museum has to offer! Check out programs, activities, videos, blog posts, and more at ussc...
11/28/2020

Explore everything our Virtual Museum has to offer! Check out programs, activities, videos, blog posts, and more at usscm.org.

11/28/2020

Join us for a live Q&A after our Anatomy of Victory virtual tour of the USS Constitution Museum! We have two knowledgeable staff members here to answer your questions.

11/28/2020
Anatomy of Victory Tour

A national icon for more than 200 years, USS Constitution is a successful ship by any standard of definition. Was it all luck? Not quite. Explore the design structure, teamwork, and people involved in “Old Ironsides” success in this virtual tour of the USS Constitution Museum.

There will be a live question and answer session with Jim Bennett and Susan Reed after the video premiere.

Join us tomorrow at 9:00 AM ET to explore the design structure, teamwork, and people involved in “Old Ironsides” success...
11/27/2020

Join us tomorrow at 9:00 AM ET to explore the design structure, teamwork, and people involved in “Old Ironsides” success in a free virtual tour of the USS Constitution Museum followed by a live Q&A with our tour guides.

11/26/2020
Cook a Ship's Biscuit

Happy Thanksgiving! In between preparing your own meal today, take a closer look at one of the staples of a sailor’s diet – the ship’s biscuit! Assistant Manager of Interpretation & Visitor Services, Gary Foreman, shows you the step-by-step process of baking this hard bread at home.

The wardrooms of well-to-do officers on early frigates abounded with fine tableware that included glass decanters for wi...
11/25/2020
Decanter - USS Constitution Museum

The wardrooms of well-to-do officers on early frigates abounded with fine tableware that included glass decanters for wine. Not only were glass decanters a luxury for officers, but the rations of wine they held were far superior to the watered down grog doled out to the enlisted crew. This decanter may have been on board USS Constitution during the ship’s two long Mediterranean cruises from May 1821 to July 1828. bit.ly/3chiYvx

The wardrooms of the early frigates abounded with tableware such as this decanter, but few shipboard objects as fragile as this survive today. This decanter is exceptionally rare as it was used in the wardroom of USS Constitution.

11/24/2020
Anatomy of Victory Tour

A national icon for more than 200 years, USS Constitution is a successful ship by any standard of definition. Was it all luck? Not quite. Explore the design structure, teamwork, and people involved in “Old Ironsides” success in this virtual tour of the USS Constitution Museum.

There will be a live question and answer session with tour guides, Jim Bennett and Susan Reed, after the video premiere.

The towering waves and battering winds common to life at sea often turned the regular routines of life into impossible t...
11/24/2020
A Moveable Feast - USS Constitution Museum

The towering waves and battering winds common to life at sea often turned the regular routines of life into impossible tasks - including sitting down to a hearty feast! Check out our blog to learn more about the difficulties of dining on a ship at sea: bit.ly/3kEbBCm

When Americans sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, many take a moment to reflect on the things for which they are thankful. But those snug in. . .

Wiscasset-native William Long first served aboard USS Constitution as an able seaman during the War of 1812. After susta...
11/23/2020

Wiscasset-native William Long first served aboard USS Constitution as an able seaman during the War of 1812. After sustaining a disabling wound in battle, he re-enlisted as the ship's cook. The cook had more of a supervisory role and did not actually make original meals from scratch. Instead, he oversaw the steep tub where salt meat soaked, tended the fire in the camboose, and oversaw the scouring of the copper boilers in which the crew's rations were prepared. Read William Long's short biography on our website: bit.ly/3elswrh

Do your holiday shopping this year at the USS Constitution Museum Store! From Nov 27–Dec 6, members save 25% with their ...
11/22/2020
USS Constitution Museum Store | USS Constitution Museum Store

Do your holiday shopping this year at the USS Constitution Museum Store! From Nov 27–Dec 6, members save 25% with their member promo code, and all shoppers receive 15% off their purchase with the promo code HOLIDAY15. All orders over $25 come with free shipping. Find jewelry, apparel, toys, and more for everyone on your shopping list! bit.ly/3kOlgWX

The USS Constitution Museum Store offers souvenirs and gifts, clothing, jewelry, and more.

Join the Museum for “International Sailors for the Nation's Ship,” a free virtual panel discussion on Thursday, December...
11/21/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: International Sailors for the Nation's Ship. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

Join the Museum for “International Sailors for the Nation's Ship,” a free virtual panel discussion on Thursday, December 3 at 6:00 PM ET. This conversation will explore the history and experiences of foreign-born sailors on USS Constitution and in the broader U.S. Navy from the nation's founding to today. Register at bit.ly/334Gw4D.

Join the USS Constitution Museum for International Sailors for the Nation's Ship, a free virtual panel discussion on Thursday, December 3 at 6 p.m. ET. This conversation will explore the history and experiences of foreign-born sailors on USS Constitution and in the broader U.S. Navy from the nation'...

USS Constitution Museum's cover photo
11/20/2020

USS Constitution Museum's cover photo

The USS Constitution Museum will temporarily close Saturday, November 21 – Sunday, November 29 in response to the recent...
11/20/2020

The USS Constitution Museum will temporarily close Saturday, November 21 – Sunday, November 29 in response to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. We will continue to offer dynamic content to our virtual audience through new artifact highlights, blog posts, at-home family activities, virtual field trips, and interactive webpages.

Meet your shipmates in our Old Ironsides Activity Book! Online for the first time, this digital book enables children an...
11/20/2020

Meet your shipmates in our Old Ironsides Activity Book! Online for the first time, this digital book enables children and families to explore America's Ship of State in an engaging and fun way. usscm.org/discover-learn/fun-games/

Boatswain's Mate is one of the oldest ranks in the U.S. Navy. In the 19th century, the boatswain and his mates were in c...
11/17/2020
Good Call - USS Constitution Museum

Boatswain's Mate is one of the oldest ranks in the U.S. Navy. In the 19th century, the boatswain and his mates were in charge of the ship’s sails, rigging, flags, anchors, cables, and boats -- and they used a "pipe" or "call" to communicate. Learn more about boatswains and their pipes on our blog: bit.ly/3pzzK0n

Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master’s whistle. Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if. . .

Of the 450 to 500 men aboard for each cruise during the War of 1812, about two-thirds were enlisted sailors, another 60 ...
11/16/2020
Ranks + Rates - USS Constitution Museum

Of the 450 to 500 men aboard for each cruise during the War of 1812, about two-thirds were enlisted sailors, another 60 were Marines, and the rest were commissioned, warrant, or petty officers. Each rank and rate carried specific responsibilities to help the ship function efficiently at times of peace and war. Learn more about ranks and rates on our website: bit.ly/2SnZvSj

USS Constitution is a large and complex sailing warship, and during her active combat years it took 450 to 500 crew to keep her at sea. Today, there are 75 enlisted sailors and three commissioned officers assigned to USS Constitution.

Join us in honoring trailblazing veteran Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) on Wed, Nov 18 at 6 p.m. ET at “Salute to ...
11/15/2020

Join us in honoring trailblazing veteran Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) on Wed, Nov 18 at 6 p.m. ET at “Salute to Service,” a free virtual event! Register at bit.ly/38yo6gl.

Is your family ready to have a blast? Join our crew of Museum educators and USS Constitution sailors for the Family Fire...
11/14/2020
Family Firepower - USS Constitution Museum

Is your family ready to have a blast? Join our crew of Museum educators and USS Constitution sailors for the Family Firepower program on Saturday, November 21. Space is limited. Register today: bit.ly/35myFAW

Join us on Saturday, November 21 from 3:30 – 4:30pm to experience USS Constitution in a new way– as recruits on her historic gun crew! Participating families will learn about the tools and teamwork required to make USS Constitution a successful warship, both at the Museum and on the Ship with a ...

11/13/2020
Paper Marine's Hat

With its bright colors and decorative trim, the Marine's War of 1812 uniform made a statement and projected American military power for all to see. Try your hand at making a distinctive part of this uniform - the hat - with paper, scissors, tape, and lots of patience! https://bit.ly/3ncrGAE

Join us in honoring trailblazing veteran Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) on Wed, Nov 18 at 6 p.m. ET at “Salute to ...
11/12/2020

Join us in honoring trailblazing veteran Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) on Wed, Nov 18 at 6 p.m. ET at “Salute to Service,” a free virtual event! Register at bit.ly/38yo6gl.

A speaking or hailing trumpet was a critical communication tool on merchant vessels and warships in the 19th century. Pr...
11/12/2020
Speaking Trumpet - USS Constitution Museum

A speaking or hailing trumpet was a critical communication tool on merchant vessels and warships in the 19th century. Prior to electronic loud speakers and two-way radios, speaking trumpets served to amplify voices in a variety of circumstances. They were used by officers to issue orders to crew in the din of battle and also commonly used for communication between ships. Learn more at bit.ly/3ewXU6E

A speaking or hailing trumpet was a critical shipboard tool of the 19th century, used on both merchant vessels and warships like USS Constitution. Prior to electronic loud speakers and two-way radios, speaking trumpets served to amplify voices in a variety of circumstances. They were used by officer...

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22 1st Ave.
Boston, MA
02129

10 minute walk from North Station On the MBTA Water Shuttle and Bus Route #93 Near Sullivan Square station

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Our Story

At the USS Constitution Museum we are dedicated to engaging all ages in the story of “Old Ironsides” to spark excitement about maritime heritage, naval service, and the American experience. We ensure that the stories of USS Constitution and those who shaped her history are never forgotten, always remain relevant, and inspire as many people as possible. We provide an environment where inter-generational groups seeking an enjoyable and educational experience can have fun while learning and exploring history together. Located in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard, the USS Constitution Museum is a proud partner the National Parks of Boston, Naval History & Heritage Command, and USS Constitution.

For more information, visit us at usscm.org.

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Once again, we remember a horrific time in our country's history when people, globally, faced annihilation. Ordinary men and women, our fathers and mothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, heard the bell and answered the call--- and rose to greatness. "....we few...we happy few...we band of brothers". They are in their late 90's and they will not be forgotten. Thank you. Thank you for your service. USS CONSTITUTION . SONNET DECEMBER 7, 1941 Look toward the east and watch the rising sun. Beware the iron fist hid in the glove. And there's a third whose powers long begun. The Axis hawks pretending to be doves. Mark well the course. The years of peace now gone. The bugles called to arms. The ship bells peal. A harbor scorched one bloody Sunday morn. A President's resolved forged out of steel. And once again she filled a nation's need, Commissioned 'fore another day would last. The frigate that the Navy asked to lead A county's future sailed from out the past. A ship will live when people know her worth. And so she lives because of noble birth.
It is difficult to believe that sixty years have passed since President John F. Kennedy spoke of passing the torch to a new generation. Forty years earlier Lieut-Col. John McCrae, a Canadian soldier, who wrote of that torch. After four years of service on the western front fighting the dark forces of evil that had spread through Europe, he died in France, January, 1918. We are so grateful for all the men and women in our armed forces who are carrying the torch today. And we are forever thankful for all those who led the way. We thank you for service. USS CONSTITUTION . SONNET 1919. VETERANS' DAY A President wrote of the war. Do not Forget the sacrifices dearly made By your country's sons, for all those who fought, Those who are with us---and those who are dead. In years of peace to come, you might not know Their names or faces----or resting places. Think of their valor in fighting the foe. Think of the Furies---and blessed Graces. The poet wrote of singing larks and guns And failing hands that throw the torch to you. And breaking faith with them. Take heed, O sons. In Flanders Fields he told you what to do. A ship will live when people know her worth. And so she lives because of noble birt
While working as an electrician at the Boston Naval Shipyard, my husband was honored to have worked on the USS Constitution replacing and upgrading her wiring. He just passed away two weeks ago and our family was so proud to have her sailors serve as honor guards at his graveside ceremony. God bless, and Happy Birthday Old Ironsides!
Edward G Durivage giving a tour May 1963
USS Constitution at 1:1250 sscale Heinz-Peter Weiss (Germany) makes limited edition miniature paper models of historic ship at the scale of 1:250 ( See also Society of Miniature Ship Collectorshttp://smsc-home.org/index.html )
USS Constitution at 1:1250 sscale Heinz-Peter Weiss (Germany) makes limited edition miniature paper models of historic ship at the scale of 1:250 ( See also Society of Miniature Ship Collectorshttp://smsc-home.org/index.html )
Great program. Hope I can find it to show mt grandboys later.
USS CONSTITUTION Sonnet JULY 4 I never claimed a noble birth nor spoke Of those who dressed in suits with velvet bands, But learned the ways of copper, pine and oak And iron forged by master craftsman's hands. This ship is built in keeping with the past, Is hailed in celebration of the day, Is sailed, crew ready 'fore the mast. GOD speed---His grace bestowed along the way. Events occurred. They're writ in history. They tell of men who lived and died each year In wars fought to defend our liberty. Full measure given. Ay. The cost was dear. The questions circled 'round and 'round for men Would hesitate to let this frigate die. You know her story. Think on it, and then Teach others so they'll know the reasons why. KEEP HER FIT. FLY HER FLAG ON HIGH. UNFURL HER CANVAS. LET HER CANNONS ROAR. A ship will live when people now her worth. And so she lives because of noble birth.
First Memorial Day USS CONSTITUTION SONNET 1868 If you would close your eyes and breathe in deep, If you would pause and let your mind be free, Let not Hypnos's poppies trick you to sleep, Let visions ebb and flow...then you will see The ones thought lost to you have not gone far, The ones who lived and loved in every way Are part of the great cosmos like the stars, Are still as dear and near to you every day. And Heaven holds the ones you did not know, And heaven blessed because they paid the price. Be of good cheer, your memories keep the glow Between your place on earth and Paradise. A ship will live when people know her worth. And so she lives because of noble birth.
I really enjoy this site. Good info and articles. I grew up in Cambridge and my father was a rigger at the Navy Yard - he worked on the Constitution during her refits at the Yard. Great ship - been aboard many times - now live in SC so don't get there often now - but your site keeps me in contact. Thanks.
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There is no where else I would rather be than Boston in the month of April. We who were born here and have lived here all our lives know what I am talking about. Today is BOSTON ONE DAY, in memory of the loss and injury incurred by innocent by-standers at the Boston Marathon 7 years ago. On Saturday, the 18th, I would have been at the Old North Church at the lantern lighting ceremony. I even make it to Lexington once in a while. There is an incredible and unbreakable bond between the ship and the church and so I submit the following poems in honor of the heroes of the day, the patriots of 1775. USS CONSTITUTION. SONNET 1775 What is it about Boston that rattles the British so? The sister colonies look toward the New World hub as it battles Red Coat muskets in hostilities that started that fateful night in April. No hiding behind Indian faces when the riders spread their warning that will send militia fighters to their places-- two lanterns in Old North, the golden lights that will illuminate the way to more than they could ever imagine. The night air warms the spirit as never before. With thoughts unspoken life is kept intact. Un-loosened words give men the strength to act. USS CONSTITUTION SONNET 1775 Ungrateful rabble! How dare you reject All that being British has to offer. Have you nerve to fight? Think you can protect city, field and farm 'gainst those who'd die for royal heads? Swords and muskets, troops in red coats off to Lexington, then Concord's river, march some twenty miles in step with high notes of fife and drum. Who'll stand and deliver? There! Across the lawn in their work-day clothes, also ready to die---for a brother. New World men bravely lined up in rows muskets poised , arm in arm with each other. Defiant to the death this April morn A new breed of American is born.