By Jug Varner

The United States Navy and the USS Constitution Museum have partnered in a national education outreach program known as “Old Ironsides Across the Nation.”

Started in 2000, with planned visits to one region of the country each year from 2001 to 2006, this collaboration shares the exciting stories of Old Ironsides with students, teachers, and others who may be unable to visit Boston Massachusetts, USS Constitution's homeport. The 205-year-old vessel is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. (see USS Constitution)

Old Ironsides no longer leaves the safety of Massachusetts Bay and will not be traveling to the Central U.S. However, Old Ironsides Across The Nation will bring members of USS Constitution's active duty Navy crew and a replica of the ship's gun deck to cities throughout the country, providing a glimpse of life at sea to people outside of Boston.

Museum staff will conduct teacher workshops, and distribute the Museum's award-winning curriculum All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard “Old Ironsides.” USS Constitution's crew and museum staff will visit area schools and offer public presentations “Old Ironsides'” illustrious career.

The regions are:

  • Summer 2001: Region I (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, PA, WI, WV)
  • Summer 2002: Region II (AL, DC, GA, FL, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA)
  • Summer 2003: Region III (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE, OK, TX, U.S. Virgin Island)
  • Summer 2004: Region V (AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY)
  • Summer 2005: Region IV (AK, HI, ID, MN, MT, ND, OR, SD, WA, Puerto Rico, Guam)
  • Summer 2006: Region VI (CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ NY RI, VT)

At the end of each regional visit those citizens can enter a free public lottery from which 100 winners will go aboard USS Constitution for a tug-powered “Salute to the Central U.S.” cruise in Boston.

To find out more about our visit, or to find out how you can help, please e-mail us here or call 617-426-1812 x131.

See also http://www.jmu.edu/madison/war1812/ironhist.htm