“Old Ironsides” in War and Peace
Sail through three centuries of USS Constitution‘s history! From the ship’s construction and early beginnings in the fledgling United States Navy, to the highs and lows of battle in the War of 1812, to diplomatic voyages and continued preservation, see how “Old Ironsides” rose to fame as a national icon.
What was battle like in 1812?
How do you sail a wooden ship?
Who was the ship’s first female officer?
Find out for yourself through engaging hands-on interactives, dynamic digital displays, and a curated collection of artifacts and archival records that bring to life the many stories of America’s Ship of State.
All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812
Join USS Constitution’s 1812 crew and set sail on a voyage of discovery for the whole family! Meet your fellow sailors and try your hand at everything from scrubbing the decks to balancing aloft to furl a sail.
Along the way, you’ll follow the stories of real Constitution sailors and their families back home. These personal stories, uncovered through decades of research pouring over census records, memoirs, diaries, journals, letters, newspapers, and pension records, are brought to life through personal narratives, artifacts, and interactive displays. All Hands on Deck more than just learning about history—it’s a chance to connect with it.
Hear My Story: Today’s Crew of USS Constitution
Meet the active-duty crew members serving aboard USS Constitution today. Through candid video interviews and vibrant photographs, learn from sailors and officers, in their own words, what it is like being in the United States Navy, being away from their families, and working aboard the oldest commissioned warship afloat.
The “LEGO® Shipyard” exhibit features a six-foot LEGO® model of “Old Ironsides” and challenge build activities for families, including building a boat and trying to make it sail in a water tank.