The crew of USS Constitution is scheduled to commemorate the 202nd anniversary of "Old Ironsides'" third and final major battle in the War of 1812, her unprecedented dual-victory over Royal Navy ships HMS Cyane and HMS Levant, on Monday, Feb. 20 in Charlestown Navy Yard.
Visitors to Constitution on Monday will receive dramatic accounts of the battle from Constitution's active duty U.S. Navy crew members. The ship will be open for public tours from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. All visitors age 18 and older must show a valid state or federal-issued photo I.D. in order to board the ship.
Guests can also observe or hear the firing of the ship's pier side saluting battery at noon to commemorate the official start of the battle along with a presentation by the crew and remarks from LCDR T.R. Anderson, USS Constitution's Executive Officer.
Constitution's battle against Cyane and Levant originally took place on Feb. 20, 1815 near the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean. The crew of "Old Ironsides", under the command of Capt. Charles Stewart, were able to achieve the historic dual-victory at sea for their already storied ship during the War of 1812.
Unknown to both the American and British crews fighting at the time was the fact that the Treaty of Ghent, which formally brought an end to the War of 1812, had been officially ratified three days prior to their battle on Feb. 17. A clause in the treaty allowed for hostilities to continue for a period of time until news of the treaty had reached all parties, so Constitution was still able to claim formal victory in the battle and keep HMS Cyane as a claimed prize to serve in the U.S. naval fleet.
USS Constitution, America's Ship of State, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797-1855. Now a featured destination on Boston's Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of active duty U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval sea power to more than 500,000 visitors each year. Constitution is nearing the end of a multiyear dry-dock restoration and is scheduled to be re-launched this summer.