Boston is a city known for being alive with history, thanks to many different projects and programs that seek to remind the public of Boston's long and varied past. Activities and tours of the Statehouse and the well-known Freedom Trail are a key part of keeping Boston's history relevant today. Another great example of this is the USS Constitution and museum that has stood as a place of knowledge of the Navy and its role in US history. The USS Constitution is an enormous, wooden-hulled, three-mast frigate, the likes of which are seen only in bottles. The ship was named by George Washington and was launched in 1797; over the years she and her crew have valiantly protected America several times, once against Barbary pirates and again against the British in the War of 1812. This kind of service earned her both the nickname "Old Ironsides," and the public's gratitude. She has sailed around the world and is still floating today in the former Boston Navy Yard, due to conservation efforts made by the museum erected in her honor.
The USS Constitution Museum seeks to keep the legend of Old Ironsides alive, as well as the stories of the people who were part of the ship's life. The museum refrains from becoming dusty and boring by engaging people with activities that give them a taste of what sailing on the USS Constitution might have been like. Part of this is the tour of the ship itself: Old Ironsides is still a fully commissioned Navy vessel and is staffed year round by 60 active officers and sailors, who give free tours of the ship. Stick around after your tour and check out the museum's collection of artifacts spanning the ship's 200-year history.
- April 1st through October 31st: 9am to 6pm, daily
- November 1st through March 31st: 10am to 5pm, daily
- Individuals and families: Free, with a small suggested donation
- Contact about group visits and costs
- Location: Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown, MA
- Phone: 617-426-1812
- Website: www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org