USS Constitution Sails for Just Second Time in 131 Years

The world's oldest commissioned warship, USS Constitution, sails under her own power. This is only the second time in 131 years traveling without help. The last time Constitution sailed was 1997. This exercise commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Constitution's victory over the British frigate Guerriere during the War of 1812. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Meyers/ Released) As thousands of onlookers cheered from Castle Island in South Boston, the USS Constitution sailed under its own power Sunday for just the second time in 131 years, marking the 200th anniversary of the battle that earned it the nickname Old Ironsides.

The Constitution was towed past the crowd to a point between Castle Island and Deer Island. About 200 sailors then unfurled four of its sails before it was released from its tugboat tethers and sailed toward open water for about 10 minutes.

Then, it slowly made its way back toward Castle Island, aided by a tugboat. After it approached and fired its cannons, the crowd cheered and boats honked their horns as they bobbed in the harbor a safe distance away.

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