10:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Happening

At the Helm: Captains of Constitution

May 27, 2021

What is it like to command the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat?

On Thursday, May 27 at 4:00pm ET, join the USS Constitution Museum and USS Constitution for an insightful conversation with four of “Old Ironsides'” current and former commanding officers. From 1797 to today, just over 70 individuals have had the unique honor of leading this iconic wooden sailing warship. In this FREE virtual event, find out what it’s like to command all operations of the ship and contribute to the history of USS Constitution.

Speakers include:

  • Commander John Benda (2020 – Present): Benda, a Massachusetts native who served as Executive Officer before taking command, will moderate the conversation and provide insights into current operations.
  • Commander Michael Beck (1995 – 1997): Beck served as commander during the ship’s bicentennial celebration in July 1997, when Constitution triumphantly sailed under its own power into Marblehead Harbor for the first time in 116 years.
  • Captain Timothy M. Cooper (2009 – 2011): Cooper took command in July 2009 at a time when the Ship was undergoing a significant historical restoration in preparation for the War of 1812 bicentennial.
  • Captain Matthew Bonner (2011 – 2013): Bonner assumed command in July 2011 and oversaw the Navy’s commemoration of the War of 1812  bicentennial in Boston. In August 2012, he conducted the Ship’s second unassisted sail in over 131 years. In April 2013, Bonner secured the Ship following the Boston Marathon terrorist attack.


This event has been made possible thanks to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.



Date: May 27, 2021

Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Cost: FREE


USS Constitution Museum + USS Constitution

Phone: 617-426-1812



Zoom Webinar