Commissioned in 1797, the USS Constitution is the world's oldest floating commissioned naval vessel. Though she serves primarily as an educational vessel, she's still seaworthy, and will take sail on July 4 to celebrate Independence Day. Uploaded by physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com.
Commissioned in 1797 and named by George Washington, the Constitution earned her nickname “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812 when she defeated the HMS Guerriere. The ship also fought in the First Barbary War.
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In 1930 a rumor spread that she was about to be scrapped, having already outlasted the usual life span of a wooden ship. Then Oliver Wendell Holmes published his poem “Old Ironsides” in the Boston newspaper, and the public rallied to preserve the famous ship. The American people have rallied to her preservation ever since.
The Constitution is a frigate, with three masts and a wood hull. She remains the world’s oldest floating commissioned naval vessel. Today, she serves primarily as an educational ship, and tours are given most days by active duty Navy personnel. Her crew of 60 recognize theirs as a very special assignment. And yes, she is still seaworthy. In fact, USS Constitution and her crew will get underway from the ship’s berth in Charlestown, Mass. July 4, to celebrate Independence Day. Wouldn’t it be glorious to see her under sail again?
The Boston Marathon isn't for beginners. In fact, the qualification standards are strict, and participation is limited. Uploaded by vagabondish.com.
When Patriots Day approaches (that’s the third Monday in April, for those of you non-Massachusettians. Massachusetters. Bay Staters. Whatever) all eyes in New England turn toward Boston and the running of the Boston Marathon. It’s America’s oldest marathon, dating back to 1897, having reportedly been influenced by the marathon at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.
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Unlike some marathons, not everyone is eligible to participate at Boston. You have to qualify based on completion time in another sanctioned marathon. Starting in 2013, that time would range from 03:05:00 for a male under 35 up to 05:25:00 for a female over 80. And because so many people want to run this marathon, the registration time is extremely short for all but the most experienced runners. You have to know when registration is open and get your name in the field quickly.
Approximately a half million people line the course as the marathon makes its way through eight cities and towns, with the finish line in downtown Boston’s Copley Square. The Boston Red Sox traditionally play a game at 11:00 in the morning on race day, and the crowd lingers following the game to cheer runners in the race’s last mile.
Copyright 2009-2011, Robin G. Chalkley. All material on these pages, and the listing of items as Great American Things, is copyrighted. The exceptions are the photographs and videos, which remain the property of their respective owners.
Header photo used courtesy of Flickr photographer too melo.