USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA | CruiseBe
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USS Constitution Museum

Boston Navy Yard, Building 22
History and museums
museum, landmark, sightseeing

The USS Constitution Museum is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, which is part of the Boston National Historical Park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The museum is situated near the ship USS Constitution at the end of Boston's Freedom Trail. The museum is housed in a restored shipyard building at the foot of Pier 2.

The museum, through its collections and interactive exhibits, tells the story of USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") and the people who designed, built, and sailed her. The museum is also home to the Samuel Eliot Morison Memorial Library and includes a comprehensive archival repository of records related to the ship's history. The USS Constitution Museum is a private, non-profit organization that is managed separately from the naval ship.

Ongoing Exhibits

All Hands On Deck An all-ages interactive exhibit that explores the realities of life at sea during the War of 1812.

Old Ironsides in War and Peace A in-depth look at the ship's storied history, including how and why she was built, how she earned her fame during the War of 1812, and why she is preserved at the United States Navy's oldest commissioned warship.

Old Ironsides War of 1812 Discovery Center An interactive exhibit that explains the causes and consequences of the War of 1812 through games, multi-media, books, and other hands-on activities.

Constitution vs HMS Java The story of the battle between USS Constitution and HMS Java, told through artwork, archival records, and artifacts associated with the battle.

USS Constitution Awards Program

The Board of Directors of the Museum makes three major awards annually:

The Samuel Eliot Morison Award

Disambiguation: See also the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, awarded by the Naval Order of the United States

The Samuel Eliot Morison Award is the highest recognition by the Board of a Trustees of the USS Constitution Museum Foundation of a person whose public service has enhanced the image of USS Constitution and who reflects the best of Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison: artful scholarship, patriotic pride, and eclectic interest in the sea and things maritime, and a desire to preserve the best of our past for future generations.

The Charles Francis Adams Award

To honor museum founder Charles Francis Adams IV and his lifelong support of the community through his commitment and loyalty to those institutions and ideas which affect the quality of life of all citizens, and to recognize others who have followed his extraordinary example, the award is made annually to a person or a team of people who have given of themselves for the betterment of the community, and through whose good works profound positive change for the citizens of the community has occurred.

  • 1991 Jason A. Aisner (posthumously)
  • 1992 Caleb Loring, Jr.
  • 1993 John Joseph Moakley
  • 1994 Mrs. George L (Hessie) Sargent
  • 1995 J. Welles Henderson
  • 1997 Harvey Chet Krentzman
  • 1998 John J. Schiff (posthumously)
  • 1999 Claire Bloom
  • 2001 Edward M. Kennedy
  • 2002 Vivien Li
  • 2004 Gordon Abbott, Jr.
  • 2005 Gordon R. England
  • 2006 Thomas J. Hudner, Jr.
  • 2007 James (Lou) Gorman
  • 2008 Kevin C. Phelan
  • 2009 Thomas M. Menino
  • 2010 John P. Hamill
  • 2011 Robert M. Mahoney
  • 2012 Robert L. Reynolds
  • 2013 Peter H. Smyth
  • 2014 Thomas A. Kershaw
  • 2015 James T. Brett

The Don Turner Award

To honor Don Turner, former head of the USS Constitution Maintenance and Repair Facility, for his singular contribution toward the preservation of "Old Ironsides" and the skills that built her, as well as his knowledge of and dedication to the ancient art of shipbuilding, and to recognize others who are similarly dedicated to maritime preservation and advances in ship construction and design, the Don Turner Award is made annually to a person or team of people, professional or amateur, who have contributed significantly to efforts to preserve important vessels or who have made significant contributions to our knowledge and understanding of ship design and construction.

  • 1991 Don Turner
  • 1992 Maynard Bray
  • 1993 Harvey Steinberg
  • 1994 Bill Kock
  • 1995 Charlie Deans
  • 1996 Patrick Otton
  • 1997 Robert J. Burbank and the Riggers of USS Constitution
  • 1998 Howard Chatterton
  • 2001 Dana Hewson
  • 2002 Robert Neyland
  • 2004 Olin Stephens
  • 2005 Dana Wegner
  • 2006 Walter Rybka
  • 2008 Quentin Snedeker
  • 2009 Don Birkholz, Jr.
  • 2010 Richard Whelan
  • 2011 Elizabeth Meyer

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