July 31, 2012 Celebrating Independence Day on the USS Constitution
|Photo source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David P. Coleman, released via www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution
The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the U.S. Navy. The Naval Armament Act of 1794, signed into law by President George Washington, called for the construction of six frigates to be built at shipyards along the eastern seaboard. The 44-gun USS Constitution, built in Boston, was launched on Oct. 21, 1797. By the War of 1812, USS Constitution had already won previous engagements in two wars: the Quasi War with France (1798-1801) and the Barbary Wars (1801-1805). During the War of 1812, she defeated four English warships. Nicknamed ?Old Ironsides, she remains undefeated in battle.
Lastly, a 17-gun salute was performed to the City of Boston near Coast Guard Station Boston, the former site of the Edmund Hartt Shipyard where Constitution was built. The shots honored the 16 states that comprised America when Constitution launched in 1797 and one in honor of the ship.