News from the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown Navy Yard on a new exhibit. The exhibit is on view daily from 10am – 5pm until 2014. Admission to the Museum is by donation.

The USS Constitution Museum opened a new exhibit commemorating the 200th anniversary of USS Constitution’s victory over HMS Java on December 29, 1812. Explore a special exhibition of artifacts and images from the battle, including the wooden leg used by a surviving Constitution crewmember, 200 year old fragments of sailors’ bones, Captain Henry Lambert’s dress sword, and more!

Learn what life was like at sea in 1812, how the bloody battle began and ended with a heavy toll on the crew of both ships. When the guns fell silent and the smoke of battle blew away, both sides tallied the casualties. According to a passenger on Java, at the end of the battle “our decks were literally covered with killed & wounded, our Ship on fire from firing thro’ the wreck of the fallen masts.” What happened to the wounded crew members? What did they experience when they returned home? Come to the Museum to discover the truth behind the battle!

The exhibit not only tells the story of the fight but also of the aftermath when the Captain and crew returned home. Explore the spoils of war and learn of the lavish parties, gifts, and fame bestowed upon the crew. The adulation we reserve for celebrities and athletes today was once showered upon those who fought to secure the independence of our great nation. Despite the awards and notoriety, Captain William Bainbridge of USS Constitution wrote to a friend that “the applause of my countrymen has for me greater charms than all the gold that glitters.” Visit the Museum to discover the story of Captain Bainbridge and the history of the 1812 crew in this exciting new exhibit.

The USS Constitution Museum is located in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard, across from USS Constitution and on the Freedom Trail. The USS Constitution Museum is a nonprofit, educational institution whose mission is to serve as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of Old Ironsides and the people associated with her. The Museum is honored to be rated a prestigious 4 stars on Charity Navigator, a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, and a recent recipient of the Parent’s Choice Award. www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org

Photos courtesy of the USS Constitution Museum.

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