The USS Constitution, berthed in Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, was launched in 1797, and set sail the following year to protect American commerce. On August 19, 1812, she took on the British frigate HMS Guerriere in a half hour of intense combat. During the battle that maimed the British ship, cannon balls bounced off of the USS Constitution with little effect. One sailor exclaimed “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!” and she was given the nickname “Old Ironsides.” Between 1844 and 1846, she cruised around the world covering 52,000 miles in 852 days. She is the nation’s oldest commissioned warship.