October 21, 1797: The USS Constitution is launched.

Named by George Washington and designed by Joshua Humphreys, the Constitution began construction in 1794, along with five other frigates (the United States, Constellation, Congress, President, and the Chesapeake); today, she is the world’s oldest floating commissioned warship.

During the War of 1812, the Constitution gained fame and the nickname “Old Ironsides" following her victory over the HMS Guerriere. Although most ships of the time were expected to service for less than fifteen years, the Constitution was decommissioned in the 1880s, then nearly 100 years old. In 1997, she sailed unassisted for the first time in over a century, and in 2009, she became America’s "ship of state".

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