Stolen from Peter Yeschenko

On 21 October 1797, the 44-gun 204-foot US Navy frigate USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, was launched in Boston’s harbor.

The USS Constitution was never defeated in 42 battles.

216 crew members set sail again in 1997 for its 200th birthday.

Although her construction was almost halted by a 1796 peace treaty with Algiers, the USS Constitution was launched-christened by visiting Captain James Sever using a bottle of Madeira.

It was actually the third attempt to launch her; the first was a month earlier, when the ship got stuck after moving only 27 feet.

Two days later she moved another 31 feet before getting stuck once again.

For the third attempt, workers made the launching ways steeper, which finally enables a successful event.

The public, which included several French aristocrats, was warned beforehand that the launch of such a large ship might cause a dangerously large wave, but none actually materializes during the event.


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