On Saturday, October 22, the USS Constitution Museum marked the 225th birthday of Constitution and the Museum’s own 50th birthday by inviting the public to join the celebration through a Birthday Block Party in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
The free event was a community affair, with family-friendly activities and entertainment hosted by the military branches, veteran organizations, and the Museum’s own hands-on educators. A portion of the Navy Yard was transformed into a USS Constitution-themed nine-hole miniature golf course, where everyone could test their putting and Constitution-trivia knowledge. People of all ages got into the game, including a friendly challenge between USS Constitution Commander BJ Farrell, the Ship’s Executive Officer, and the volunteer 1812 Marine Corps. Kids took part in fun activities, too, including the chance to shoot “Alka-Seltzer cannons” as they recreated the historic War of 1812 battle with the HMS Guerriere. The crowd enjoyed the sounds of the U.S. Navy Band’s President’s Duo and were treated to two cakes, baked as a gift to the public by the crew of Constitution and expertly cut with swords by Museum President Anne Grimes Rand and CDR Farrell.
The public celebration was the culmination of multi-day events honoring the 225th Birthday of “Old Ironsides.” It also commenced the Museum’s fiftieth year serving alongside her, sharing and engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in the storied legacy of the Ship. Rand elaborated, “When we started the Museum fifty years ago, we sought to inspire people with the stories of ‘Old Ironsides.’ We have opened our doors to welcome all who want to learn, reaching nearly 10 million people in five decades. Moving forward, we want to invite people to engage in new ways that will foster curiosity, learning, and civic leadership.” The Museum will continue to honor Constitution and this mission all year through new initiatives designed to engage people directly to actively take part in honoring service and making history.
The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution by offering award-winning exhibits where all ages can have fun while learning and exploring history together. The Museum’s mission is to engage visitors in the story of Constitution to spark excitement about maritime heritage, naval service, and the American experience. The Museum is open seven days a week with a pay-what-you-wish admission policy, and the Virtual Museum is open 24/7. The USS Constitution Museum is a 2022 winner in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice in the “Best History Museum” category and Boston Parents Paper’s Family Favorites in the “Historic Sites & Tours” and “Museums & Attractions” categories. For more information, visit usscm.org.