The USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat. President George Washington named the wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy after the United States Constitution. She was launched in 1797, one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. The vessel is most noted for her actions during the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships, one of which earned her the nickname “Old Ironsides.” Margherita M. Desy leads this illustrated presentation which looks at the long history of rebuilding and preserving the American icon, from the earliest years of the 19th century, right up to the first 21st century dry docking of the ship in 2015. She is a curator and historian of New England maritime and early U.S. Navy histories and is employed by the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston as historian for USS Constitution. She has worked for Historic New England, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, and, for 20 years, at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. She has been published in scholarly and popular journals and has been script advisor and on-camera historian for several PBS television shows and documentaries broadcast in the U.S. and Europe.