American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
Protecting the New Nation
   The War of 1812 (1812-1815)


We launched warships.

U.S.S. Constitution (Frigate)
Boston National Historic Park
Boston, Massachusetts

   Launching of the Constitution took place in 1797. Soon after, she was involved in several dangerous missions, including a stand against Barbary pirates off the coast of Algeria. Most important, though, the Constitution was one of five frigates that comprised America's first Navy. On August 19, 1812, she attacked the British warship, HMS Guerriere, off the coast of New England.

   Though bombarded by heavy enemy fire, the Constitution bravely held out before launching her own artillery at close range. As legend has it, British sailors named her "Old Ironsides" when they watched cannonballs roll off her hull during the forty-minute battle! The Americans were victorious! Now docked in Boston Harbor, the Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world.


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