The USS Constitution: The World's Oldest Ship Still Afloat

TLDR The USS Constitution, launched in 1797, is the oldest ship still afloat and remains in service today. It played a significant role in various conflicts, including the War of 1812, and underwent multiple restorations before sailing under its own power in 1997.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The USS Constitution, the world's oldest ship still afloat, was launched in 1797 and is still in service and operational today.
02:15 The United States created its Navy in order to be taken seriously as a new country and to address issues with Barbary pirates, leading to the construction of six frigates, including the USS Constitution.
04:20 The USS Constitution was one of three ships initially funded by Congress and was designed to outgun any ship it might come up against, serving in various conflicts and as the flagship of the American squadron in the Mediterranean.
06:16 The USS Constitution saw combat during the War of 1812, sinking five British ships and earning the nickname "Old Ironsides" due to its hull's ability to repel cannonballs.
08:17 In the 1850s, the USS Constitution was converted into a training ship for the U.S. Navy, and after the Civil War, it remained docked at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland until its condition deteriorated and it was decommissioned in 1881, but was later saved by a grassroots movement and underwent restoration in 1907.
10:18 The USS Constitution underwent multiple restorations, including a national fundraising effort in 1925, and in 1930 it went on a tour of the east coast of the United States, through the Panama Canal, and up the west coast, although it was towed the entire trip, and it was recommissioned into the US Navy in 1931, remaining a museum ship with brief stints as a brig during World War II, and in the 1970s it was restored to its 1812 state and assigned a captain, and in 1991 the idea of sailing the ship under its own power was proposed.
12:22 In 1997, the USS Constitution was towed out of Boston Harbor and sailed under its own power for 40 minutes, reaching speeds up to 12 knots, and today it remains the oldest ship in the world that can still sail under its own power.
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