USS Constitution sets sail again in Boston Harbor

The USS Constitution is escorted by a tugboat in Boston Harbor as a crowd looks on from the shore in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. The USS Constitution, the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned war ship, sailed under her own power during the event Sunday for the first time since 1997. The sail was held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the ship's victory over HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
August 19, 2012 4:51:18 PM PDT
The 215-year-old USS Constitution has sailed for the first time since 1997, taking a 17-minute cruise across Boston Harbor.

The short trip Sunday was to commemorate the Navy ship's victory over a British warship of a similar size in a fierce battle during the War of 1812. Following the battle, the Constitution was nicknamed "Old Ironsides."

Chief Petty Officer Frank Neely says 285 lucky people were aboard Sunday as the Constitution reached a maximum speed of 3.1 knots.

The trip marks the first time the Constitution has set sail under its own power since turning 200 years old. The Navy ship is periodically tugged into the harbor for historical display.


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