Monday, August 17, 2009

USS Constitution Vs. HMS Guerriere Battle Commemoration

Ok, I know it's short notice - This Wednesday, August 19th from 6 to 7 pm, the officers and crew of USS Constitution will be hosting the 3rd annual commemoration of the battle that garnered the ship the nickname "Old Ironsides"

Straight from the press release

USS Constitution Ceremony to Honor 1812 Battle at Sea

CHARLESTOWN NAVY YARD, Mass. -- In the evening of August 19, Bostonians who are used to hearing the roar of USS Constitution's long gun only once at night - at sunset - will be treated to a second gunshot, leading off the third annual "USS Constitution Versus HMS Guerriere Battle Commemoration."

The event takes place on the pier adjacent the ship, and honors the legacy of the historic battle at sea fought off the coast of Nova Scotia on August 19, 1812.

During the short battle, in which the two frigates exchanged numerous broadsides and collided twice, USS Constitution earned her enduring nickname "Old Ironsides" after an anonymous sailor observed British cannonballs, fired from only 25 yards away, bouncing harmlessly off the hull of the ship.

"Huzzah!" he exclaimed, "Her sides are made of iron!"

"It was an important day for USS Constitution and the Navy. We are holding this commemoration to pay tribute to both ships and their crews who fought valiantly on that day," said Cmdr. Timothy M. Cooper, the 71st and current Commanding Officer of USS Constitution.

"This event was very successful last year, and we hope to see it continue to grow every year."

Beginning at 6 p.m., the "USS Constitution Versus HMS Guerriere Battle Commemoration" is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The ceremony includes boarding pike and small-arms drills demonstrated by crewmembers of Old Ironsides.

This event is held in conjunction with the USS Constitution Museum's "Victory Day," which will be held at the museum in Charlestown Navy Yard Aug. 22, from 11 - 4 p.m. There will be family-friendly hands-on activities for all ages, including crafts and maritime-oriented demonstrations.

In addition, during the dates of August 18 through August 28, USS Constitution is scheduled for our annual Chief Petty Officer Heritage Weeks, and will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for free, public guided tours that include descriptions of Old Ironsides' victory over HMS Guerriere.

To learn more about USS Constitution, visit

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