USS Constitution fought for and belongs to the citizens of every state of our nation. All Americans deserve to learn the story of one of our nation’s most cherished and enduring symbols. The USS Constitution Museum strives to provide ways for everyone to learn about Constitution’s history, even if they are unable to visit the ship in Boston. In 2003, First Lady Laura Bush presented the USS Constitution Museum with a National Award for Museum Service in recognition of its innovation, collaborative national outreach initiatives.
Museum on the Move
Between May 1999 and May 2000, USS Constitution Museum staff and one crewmember from USS Constitution visited eight cities around the country as part of its Museum on the Move program. One of the key reasons for these trips was to introduce the Museum’s All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard “Old Ironsides” curriculum to teachers across the country. Each trip consisted of a teacher workshop, classroom presentations in schools, and a public presentation. During this one year initiative, the Museum reached nearly 17,800 people across the country, including 265 teachers through teacher workshops, 8,075 students through classroom presentations, and 1,330 people through public presentations.
Old Ironsides Across the Nation
Based on the success of the Museum on the Move program, the USS Constitution Museum expanded the program in partnership with the US Navy in the fall of 2000 as Old Ironsides Across the Nation. Between 2000 and 2009, the Museum and the US Navy collaborated on this national outreach program to provide greater access to the lessons of USSConstitution. This program promoted renewed national support for, and dedication to, USS Constitution and the American ideals of freedom and democracy she exemplifies. In each city visited, the staff of the USS Constitution Museum, the crew of USS Constitution, and the civilian staff of the Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston visited classrooms to provide educational programming, conducted teacher workshops, made presentations about “Old Ironsides” for public and civic organizations, and provided family-friendly weekend activities at a host museum or site. All of these activities were offered for free. During the ten years of this program, this program reached over 125,000 people in over 20 cities across the country that might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit the Ship in Boston.