Friday, August 17, 2012

Old Ironsides To Sail Again

The USS Constitution is going to sail the seas again, 200 years to the day it defeated the HMS Guerriere.

The Detroit News: World's oldest commissioned warship to sail again

The world's oldest commissioned warship will sail under its own power for just the second time in more than a century to commemorate the battle that won it the nickname "Old Ironsides."

The USS Constitution, which was first launched in 1797, will be tugged from its berth in Boston Harbor on Sunday to the main deepwater pathway into the harbor. It will then set out to open seas for a 10-minute cruise.

The short trip marks the day two centuries ago when the Constitution bested the British frigate HMS Guerriere in a fierce battle during the War of 1812. It follows a three-year restoration project and is the first time the Constitution has been to sea on its own since its 200th birthday in 1997.

Before that, it hadn't sailed under its own power since 1881. The Constitution is periodically tugged into the harbor for historical display.

In addition to the USS Constitution, other historic ships will be participating in the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812, including some that will visit Michigan and Detroit. The USS Niagara, Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship in the Battle of lake Erie will visit Detroit, along with some modern warships and coastguard vessels from September 4-10.

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