Residents can earn berth on historic quot;Old Ironsidesquot;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 9, 2002

At a venerable 204 years of age, it is the oldest sailing warship afloat in the world, a part of American maritime history.

The USS Constitution, better known as "Old Ironsides", is now in her third century of service and 100 lucky people will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a part of her honorary crew during the summer of 2002.

Students, educators and other residents selected through a lottery will have the opportunity to invite three special guests to participate in this extraordinary occasion.

Email newsletter signup

The winners will board the ship for an exciting tug-powered cruise across Boston Harbor on July 13, 2002.

An entire weekend of family activities is scheduled at the Charlestown Navy Yard in conjunction with the historic sailing.

A special workshop for educators will feature an award-winning curriculum and helpful tips on teaching about the USS Constitution in the classroom.

A national outreach program known as "Old Ironsides" Across The Nation will be bringing members of the ship's active-duty Navy crew and a full-size replica of the ship's impressive gun deck to cities across the country.

Their next stop is here in Alabama in the port city of Mobile from January 16-20, 2002.

A public presentation entitled "204 years Aboard Old Ironsides'" is scheduled for Thursday, January 17 at the Museum of Mobile, 111 South Royal St., from 7-8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday families are invited to come to the Museum of Mobile and see free hourly demonstrations on the replica gun deck.

Active-duty sailors will demonstrate the teamwork involved in firing a cannon.

There will be hands-on exhibits of early life at sea and activities such as knot-tying and reading signal flags.

(The Museum is waiving regular admission charges for the weekend.)

A free, interactive educator workshop is scheduled for Thursday evening from 4-6 p.m. at the Museum.

All participants will receive a free copy of the award-winning curriculum being presented.

To register, call (617) 426-1812.

While "Old Ironsides" no longer leaves the safety of Boston Harbor, everyone has the chance to enter the lottery for the tug-powered "Salute to the Southeast" cruise in July.

Lottery forms will be available at the Mobile events, or, to enter electronically, go to


You may also request entries by mail by writing to:

"Old Ironsides" Across the Nation Lottery , c/o USS Constitution Museum, PO Box 1812, Boston, Mass 02129.

All entries must be received by April 15, 2002.

Twenty-five percent of the winners will be drawn from a pool of educators and an additional twenty-five percent will be students in grades K-12.

To learn more about the USS Constitution and her special ties to Alabama the public is invited to visit the World Wide Web site listed above, or call (617) 426-1812.